The driveshaft is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the driven wheels. Without it, you won't be doing much driving. That's the part behind Ram's latest recall.
Ram has issued a voluntary recall for 10,160 examples of the 2018-2019 Ram 1500 (or Ram Classic, as it's referred to in the 2019 model year, following a redesign) light-duty pickup truck. The vehicles in question carry build dates between March 16, 2018 and April 20, 2018. Vehicles not included in this recall have different part numbers for the suspected defect or were built outside the window of suspected defects.
The problem comes from the rear driveshaft. According to documents filed with the federal government, an incomplete weld between the rear driveshaft tube and the tube yoke might cause the weld to crack and fracture the driveshaft. If this happens, the driveshaft might hit the ground while driving, and in addition to a loss of motive force, the dragging shaft might cause road debris. Ram said in the recall documents that noise or vibrations might preview the weld's failure.
Here's how Ram found out about the problem. The automaker launched an investigation based on six warranty claims of broken driveshafts, since the trucks in the claims were all built within a month of one another. Analyzing the broken bits pointed to the insufficient weld mentioned in the recall, and after some more digging, Ram found the right batch of vehicles to recall voluntarily. The automaker is unaware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue.
The fix is about as easy as you might think. Upon receiving the recalled vehicles at dealerships, Ram's technicians will replace the rear driveshaft with one that is proven to have "complete weld fusion," which should eliminate the potential for fracture. As with previous recalls, those who paid out of pocket for a repair can seek reimbursement. Owners should expect to receive recall notifications in the mail in mid-June.
Originally published May 31.
Update, June 3: Clarified that only the 2018 Ram 1500 and 2019 Ram Classic variants are included in the recall. The latest generation of Ram 1500 is unaffected.