FCA recalls nearly 229K trucks for shifter problem

Keith Laing
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is recalling an additional 228,508 trucks that are at risk rolling away without a key in the ignition switch or a driver pressing the brake pedal. The problem is related to an issue with the shifter on the steering column that can cause the vehicles to move out of “park” without the usual safety measures.

2017 Ram 2500

The company said Friday the recall affects certain 2017-2018 vehicles that have steering-column gear-shifters and includes: Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups; and Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs.

Fiat Chrysler said 180,975 of the recalled trucks in the latest recall are located in the U.S., while 42,045 are in Canada, 4,066 are in Mexico and 1,422 are from outside of the North American Free Trade region.

The recall follows Fiat Chrysler’s December callback of 1.5 million trucks in the U.S. that have the same shifter problem. That recall included 2010-2017 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups; some 2009-2017 Ram 1500 pickups; and 2011-2017 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday that pushing the brake pedal for prolonged periods when the vehicle is running and in park may cause the brake-transmission shift-interlock pin to stick in the open position.

“With the pin in the open position, the transmission can be shifted out of park into any gear without pushing the brake pedal or having the key in the ignition,” the agency said. “Being able to shift the transmission without pushing the brake pedal and/or without a key in the ignition can increase the risk of an unintended vehicle rollaway that may result in personal injury or a crash.”

The automaker said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries associated with the recall. It recommends that drivers always use the parking brake to prevent rollaways.

To fix the problem, dealers will update software of the affected trucks beginning on March 30.