By Larry P. Vellequette, Crain News Service
DETROIT (Nov. 11, 2013) — Chrysler Group L.L.C. will conduct three recalls of nearly 1.2 million pickups to inspect and repair misaligned tie-rod assemblies.
Chrysler said in a statement Nov. 8 that it plans to inspect 2003-2008 model-year Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks to find about 116,000 repaired with tie-rod assemblies that could become misaligned. This condition could lead to component fracture and steering loss. The recall covers about 842,400 pickups from those model-years.
Tie rod assemblies connect the steering rack to the front struts, controlling a vehicle's direction.
Two other recalls will be conducted to re-inspect another 294,000 heavy-duty pickups known to have tie-rod assemblies linked to previous recalls. The vehicles include model-year 2008-2012 Ram 2500 and 3500 heavy-duty pickups and chassis cabs as well as 2008 Ram 1500 4x4 Mega Cabs. It also includes another 43,500 model-year 2008-2012 Ram 4500 and 5500 4x4 chassis cabs.
The auto maker said it is aware of a total of seven accidents and two injuries involving the affected models.
Chrysler said that affected customers will be notified by mail in December with instructions for making service appointments. Work is expected to begin in January. Consumers with the recalled Ram 4500 and 5500 models may bring their vehicles to Chrysler Group dealers for interim service because replacement parts may not be available until late 2014.
Interim service would involve component inspections and, if necessary, realignment.
About 968,000 vehicles of the total number affected are in the U.S.; 157,000 are in Canada; 37,100 in Mexico and 18,000 are outside the NAFTA region.
Other new recalls
Separately, Chrysler announced two other recalls involving about 1,040 of its cars. The auto maker said it would recall 421 special edition 2013 Dodge Darts with the Mopar 13 upfit package to inspect and repair the side air bag installation.
About half of the Darts remain in dealer hands. The company said it is also recalling 620 vehicles equipped with the 2.4-liter I-4 engine that were potentially contaminated with abrasive debris in the balance shaft bearings, causing engine damage.
The affected cars include about 525 model-year 2013 Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200 mid-size cars, 41 model-year 2014 Jeep Compass and Patriot compact SUVs and 54 Dodge Journey and Fiat Fremont mid-size crossovers, mostly in North America.
This report appeared on the website of Automotive News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.