A major recall has been forced on Fiat Chrysler after its pickup trucks were reported to accidentally switch out of park due to gear shifters.
Estimates are that this anomaly has been detected in about 1.8 million vehicles.
A wide range of pickup truck including the Ram heavy-duty pickups, models of which were manufactured way back in 2009, would be recalled, announced the Italian-American automaker. Some light-duty Ram pickups are also included in the recall.
Identification of seven injuries that were potentially caused by the defect as well as “a small number” of crashes have been made by the company.
More than 300,000 vehicles outside of the U.S. and about 1.5 million pickups are covered by the recall.
Shifters mounted to steering columns were to be blamed for the incidents, said Fiat Chrysler and the company said that the defects were not related to rotary-dial shifters or the floor-mounted shifters. The death of actor Anton Yelchin related to his Jeep Grand Cherokee resulted in the company facing a federal investigation in 2016. The company said that recent problems are also not related to a defect in its gear shifting that had caused the earlier debacle.
In this occasion, when the driver is idling in park mode, the long time pressing of the brake pedal causes the fault. This happens because the shifter moves out of park mode since the brake-transmission shift interlock is disabled by the above action.
While parking, users have been advised to use the parking brake at all times, even as the company said that it would repair the defect for free.
Exposure of the vehicle for long periods of time to high temperatures is the situation when the defect is apparently most likely to happen, the company said.
The company would repair the brake-transmission shift interlock in the repairing and the owners would be given enough notice to take their vehicles for repairing to dealerships.
Different versions of the 2010 to 2017 Ram 2500 and 3500; 2011 to 2017 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs; 2016 to 2017 Ram 3500 chassis cabs with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of fewer than 10,000 pounds; and some 2009 to 2017 Ram 1500 pickups are included among the affected vehicles.
All 2017 model-year trucks built after Dec. 31, 2016 are not part of the recall, the company said.
(Adapted from USAToday.com)