Chrysler Recalls 164,000+ Dodge Rams for Steering Module Flaws

Chrysler Recalls 164,000+ Dodge Rams for Steering Module Flaws

Chrysler is recalling over 164,000 Ram trucks made in the past two years due to issues with headlights and turn signals. The problem is that the turn signals may inadvertently activate the high beams or vice versa.

This massive recall is not the first that has hit the Ram lineup, but it is one of the most widespread. Let’s break down the scope of the recall, why it’s so widespread and serious, and what you should do if your Ram truck is affected by the recall. 

Scope of the 2024 Dodge Ram Steering Module Recall

Dodge is recalling almost 165,000 trucks total, and 142,150 of those vehicles are within the US. The recall specifically involves certain 2023 Ram models, including:

  • 2023 Ram 1500 Classic
  • 2023 Ram 3500 Classic
  • 2023 Ram 3500 Cab Chassis
  • 2023-2024 Ram 2500
  • 2023-2024 Ram 4500/5500 Cab Chassis
  • 2023-2024 Ram 3500

Overall, more than 20 part numbers were reportedly involved in the recall as part of the overall problem. These parts were directly related to the redesigned steering module that appears to cause safety risks in the affected vehicles. The vehicles impacted by the recall were manufactured with components with the following part numbers: 

  • 68508697AB
  • 68508698AB
  • 68508699AB
  • 68508700AB
  • 68508701AE
  • 68508701AF
  • 68508702AE
  • 68508702AF
  • 68508703AE
  • 68508703AF
  • 68508704AE
  • 68508704AF

All owners of potentially affected vehicles should watch out for signs of the defect, as it could pose a serious safety risk on the road. Chrysler sent recall letters to owners of affected trucks on January 17, 2024, and the company has announced it will inspect and, if necessary, replace the steering modules in these trucks to make them safe to drive. 

The Dodge Ram Steering Module Flaw

The steering module in Ram trucks is intended to manage many operations related to steering, including turn signal activation and deactivation. In vehicles where the module is working correctly, the blinker should automatically turn off once a turn has been completed. This is known as self-cancellation, and it’s required under Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108. 

However, in the affected Ram trucks, this did not work correctly. While the exact cause has not yet been determined, it appears that the steering module literally or metaphorically got some wires crossed. According to the recall announcement, the modules in impacted vehicles “may cause the high beams to activate when using the turn signal, or the turn signal to activate when using the high beams.”

In other words, the self-cancellation feature is so flawed that it may instead cause the truck’s high beams to come on, while turning on the high beams may cause the blinker to start. FCA Chrysler has determined the most likely cause is a faulty circuit board design related to anti-jam components causing the confused signals. 

While problems with the lights are not as immediately dangerous to owners as previous Chrysler recalls, like last year’s engine stalls, they are still a serious problem. High-beam headlights, especially on vehicles the size of the Ram trucks involved, can temporarily blind other drivers on the road. Having the high beams turn on when the driver is attempting to make a turn could make crashes substantially more likely by preventing other road users from seeing well enough to account for the action. Meanwhile, having the blinker turn on whenever the high beams are activated could confuse other drivers regarding the truck’s intentions, potentially leading to accidents. Either way, owners need to get their vehicles repaired as soon as possible. 

Legal and Regulatory Considerations for the Ram Recall

In California, Chrysler’s legal obligations in addressing steering flaws leading to recalls would be governed by both federal and state regulations. This includes compliance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards, which require:

  • Notification: Timely informing of the NHTSA, vehicle owners, dealerships, and distributors about the recall.
  • Remediation: Providing a remedy to the issue at no cost to the vehicle owners.
  • Following Consumer Protection Laws: Adhering to California’s specific consumer protection laws, which may include additional requirements for transparency and consumer redress.

That last point is where your rights as a Dodge Ram owner come in. Under state law, you have the following rights if your truck is recalled for defects like steering flaws:

  • Limited Repair Attempts: If the defect significantly impairs the use, value, or safety of the truck and is not fixed after a reasonable number of repair attempts, the owner may be entitled to relief.
  • Refund or Replacement: Owners may have the option to get a replacement vehicle or a refund (purchase price minus an amount for usage).
  • Legal Recourse: Owners have the right to seek legal action to pursue refunds or replacements, and if successful, Chrysler may be required to pay the attorney fees.

These lemon law rights apply for the duration of the manufacturer’s original warranty period and cover any issue discovered within 18 months or 18,000 miles of the consumer taking possession of the truck. 

Advice for Dodge Ram Owners Affected by the Recall 

If you’ve received a recall notice regarding your Ram truck, you’re not alone. If you’ve faced other serious issues with your vehicle, though, this recall could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back – your vehicle could be a lemon. If you suspect your Ram Truck is a lemon, here’s what to do:

  • Keep detailed records of all repairs and communications related to the defect.
  • Continue to pursue repairs through the manufacturer’s warranty process.
  • Consult with a lawyer specializing in lemon law cases to assess their situation.
  • Consider filing a lemon law claim, which may result in a refund or replacement.
  • Report the issue to the California Department of Consumer Affairs or a similar regulatory body for further advice and assistance.

If you believe your Ram fits the California lemon law criteria, the experienced lawyers at Johnson & Buxton – The Lemon Law Guys can help. We have years of experience representing California car owners and helping them hold Chrysler and other carmakers accountable for defective vehicles. Schedule your consultation today to learn more about how we can help you with your defective Dodge Ram truck. 

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