US: NHTSA probes Dodge Ram trucks image

The federal auto safety agency is now investigating customer complaints that some of the Ram pickup trucks have a problem with their rear axle lock up, causing in some instances the loss of control over the vehicle at high speed.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s preliminary investigation, the rear axle lock appeared without warning while driving in 15 cases – which claimed that mechanical failure is plaguing the 2005 Dodge Ram 1500. Of the incidents, seven happened at speeds in excess of 50 miles (80 kilometers), but fortunately there are no reports of crashes, injuries or fatalities – and the complaints could span around 260,000 of Chrysler Group LLC’s truck.

“A preliminary evaluation has been opened to assess the scope, frequency and safety-related consequences of the alleged defect,” said the NHTSA.

“Chrysler Group is cooperating fully with NHTSA and would like to remind customers that this is an investigation, not a recall,” said the carmaker on the matter.

In at least two instances, the rear axle locking up while driving also caused the vehicle to spin out of control, and according to the agency the occurring appears as loose pinion nuts triggered the rear differential lock up, or separated the drive shaft from the differential.

Via Bloomberg