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Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.7M trucks

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Detroit — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said Thursday it will recall more than 1.7 million trucks in three separate campaigns, the latest blow for the Italian-American automaker that has faced a number of auto safety issues this year.

Fiat Chrysler has now recalled about 12 million vehicles this year in the United States in at least 27 campaigns. The number of recalled Fiat Chrysler vehicles is more more than the total of all vehicles sold in the U.S. this year by all automakers — 11.6 million — through the end of August. And it’s more than eight times the number of vehicles Fiat Chrysler sold in the U.S. — 1.46 million — through the end of August.

Here are the details of Thursday’s callbacks:

■Fiat Chrysler will recall 1.35 million 2012-14 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups, and 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs because wiring harnesses can wear when contacted by a spring, which could cause a short circuit and make the air bags deploy without warning — and without a crash.

The company is aware of two injuries but no crashes linked to the issue.

The recall includes 1.06 million vehicles in the United States. Dealers will tie the wiring harness and install protective caps.

■The automaker also is recalling 193,000 2013 Ram 3500, 2014 Ram 2500/3500 and 3500 Chassis Cab pickups to inspect and repair bracket welds that may cause steering problems.

The company said it is aware of one minor crash related to the problem that can result in diminished steering response. Dealers will install a reinforcement bracket if an inspection shows it is needed.

■Fiat Chrysler also is recalling 188,000 2014-15 Ram Quad Cab pickups in the United States because the side-curtain air bags don’t comply with federal rules that protect rear passengers in the event of a rollover. No crashes injuries have been tied to the issue.

As a result of the air bag recall, Fiat Chrysler has placed a stop-sale on 20,000 2014-15 Ram Quad Cab trucks. The automaker said it did not know when it would start selling them again. The recall came after the NHTSA conducted a crash test and discovered the pickups didn’t pass muster.

Fiat Chrysler is having one of its most difficult years in recent memory for auto safety issues.

In July, it agreed to a record-setting $105 million civil penalty to resolve allegations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it failed to properly carry out nearly two dozen recalls covering more than 11 million vehicles. It is making offers to buy back thousands of vehicles as part of a three-year consent order.