Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled 573,876 Ram 2500/3500 trucks and 193,813 Ram 1500 pickups in North America, with major safety issues driving both campaigns.
The former (and larger) recall pertains to a potential issue with the steering linkage, with FCA saying an "investigation discovered a specific steering-linkage configuration on certain vehicles may separate over time", creating a risk of steering loss.
FCA's massive campaign comes after two reports of steering failure on four-wheel drive Ram 2500s. In one case, the driver was rounding a bend at more than 100km/h when the steering failed, while the other issue occurred at parking speeds. In both cases, the same part was at fault.
"The failures were allegedly due to the separation of the drag link, a steering linkage that connects between the right front steering knuckle and the pitman arm on the steering box output shaft...
"Once separation occurs, turning the steering wheel has no effect, and there is no way for the driver to control or maintain the direction of the vehicle," according to an investigation from the NHTSA, quoted by Jalopnik.
Meanwhile, the second campaign relates to the adjustable brake pedal on the smaller, new-generation Ram 1500. According to the recall notice, moving the pedals to their rearmost position could undermine the integrity of the brake pedal assembly, creating a risk it'll detach.
According to FCA, there are no known injuries from the brake pedal issue.
The Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 are imported to Australia by Ateco, which has confirmed the brake pedal issue doesn't impact the car imported locally, only the new-generation model in the USA.
The 2500 and 3500 part included in the campaign is changed in the transition to right-hand drive, precluding Aussie cars from the issue.