Trucks

Ram recalls 200,000 trucks for slipping out of park

You're going to want to make real sure that you set that parking brake.

Ram

Fiat Chrysler has had some notable transmission-related recalls in the past, and it's about to kick off yet another.

Fiat Chrysler's Ram trucks division has issued a voluntary recall for approximately 180,795 pickup trucks in the US. The models below are all affected, but Ram noted that most of the recalled vehicles are heavy-duty variants and not the sole light-duty variant on the list:

  • 2017-2018 Ram 1500 pickups
  • 2017-2018 Ram 2500, 3500 pickups
  • 2017-2018 Ram 3500, 4500, 5500 chassis cabs
  • 2016-2017 Ram 3500 chassis cabs with a GVWR under 10,000 pounds

Don't forget about that parking brake. Seriously, don't.

Ram

Voluntary recalls are recalls that the automaker issues on its own. Sometimes, the feds will catch wind of a potential issue, investigate it and summarily compel an automaker to issue a recall. That's not the case here -- FCA caught the issue and is making moves to remedy it.

The issue stems from the column shifter on the aforementioned vehicles. A part called the brake transmission shift interlock, which works to ensure the vehicle is not shifted out of park without first engaging the brake, might overheat. If that happens, the shifter could be moved out of park without pressing the brake or even without putting a key in the ignition. This is, quite obviously, a rollaway hazard.

The overheating "has been linked" to owners leaving their feet on the brake pedal while idling in park. While waiting for the recall to begin, Ram has advised owners to set the parking brake each and every time the vehicle is put in park.

Ram is currently developing a remedy, so it's unclear how it will solve the issue at the moment. Nevertheless, dealers and owners will start receiving notifications at the end of March.

In 2016, Fiat Chrysler recalled some 800,000 vehicles in the US because owners were having a hard time understanding how a strange rocker-style shifter works (it has since been phased out). Last year, FCA recalled 7,800 Challengers for a software bug that wouldn't shift the transmission into park even though the owner moved the shift lever to P.