Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will recall more than a million pickup trucks after discovering their tailgates can unexpectedly open.
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The Auburn Hills, Michigan-based manufacturer notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Aug. 1, 2018 they will recall 1,149,237 2015-2017 Ram 1500, 2015-2017 Ram 2500, and 2015-2017 Ram 3500 trucks built between May 30, 2014 and Aug. 2, 2017.
The affected vehicles come equipped with power locking tailgates. These tailgates use power lock actuator control assemblies that can fail in certain conditions. The actuator’s limiter tabs can fracture, allowing the lock rod control bracket to move past its intended range. This can release the tailgate’s latches, letting the tailgate fall open. Unintended tailgate release while driving can release cargo onto the roadway and increase crash risk for other vehicles behind the truck.
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FCA’s recall chronology states their Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance organization opened their investigation on May 8, 2018, following customer complaints of inadvertent tailgate openings. Investigators met with engineers, analyzed field data and by July 13, 2018 identified 5,643 warranty claims and repair orders related to the condition. FCA decided to issue a safety recall on July 19, 2018.
FCA will notify owners, and dealers will repair the vehicle, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 14, 2018. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is U74. Owners can also visit the NHTSA’s website and enter their VIN to see if their vehicle is included in any recalls.
Your vehicle’s manufacturer is legally required to fix any recalled problems for free. If the dealership refuses to fix the part or tries to charge you for the repair, contact the manufacturer immediately. The Highway Safety Act of 1970, which created the NHTSA, requires car manufacturers to pay for the recall and replacement of a defective part.
If the manufacturer fails to repair, replace, repurchase, or provide your recalled vehicle’s loss value, they are violating the warranty and a lawyer may be able to help you. Lemon law attorneys help their clients by dealing directly with the manufacturer on the clients’ behalf, working to promptly resolve the issue and get their clients back on the road. Thanks to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, attorneys can seek their fees directly from the manufacturer, meaning a client can obtain legal counsel without having to pay attorneys’ fees directly out of pocket.