The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has initiated an extensive investigation into potential power steering issues plaguing Ram 1500 trucks produced between the years 2013 and 2016. This inquiry comes in response to a mounting concern over reports of these vehicles experiencing partial or complete loss of power steering functionality.
With the Ram 1500 being a popular choice among pickup enthusiasts in North America, the scope of this investigation is significant, encompassing a staggering 1.1 million trucks. The federal probe, which commenced on August 4, seeks to unravel the nature and extent of this worrisome problem.
Owners of Ram 1500s have submitted a total of 380 reports to the NHTSA detailing incidents of power steering malfunction. The most recent report, dated August 7, narrated the experience of an individual piloting a 2014 Ram 1500 with 118,000 miles.
While towing a camper trailer, the vehicle abruptly lost its power steering capabilities, illustrating the potential hazards of this issue. Similar accounts from other owners have surfaced, painting a picture of a problem that, while widespread, thankfully hasn't resulted in any reported injuries thus far.
Nonetheless, the NHTSA has underscored three accidents that could potentially be linked to these steering failures.
Previous Steering System Recall History
Though the investigation remains in its early stages, the NHTSA can draw from previous interactions with Ram steering systems to glean insights into the current predicament.
In 2016, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles issued a limited recall (campaign number 16V-167) affecting 440 Ram 1500 trucks produced during 2015 and 2016. This recall was prompted by concerns of potential contamination within the electrical power steering (EPS) unit, leading to malfunctions akin to those reported now.
The 2016 recall pinpointed contamination on the circuit boards of these units and mandated EPS replacements as a solution. As of now, it's important to clarify that neither the 2016 recall has been expanded nor has a new recall been initiated.
The ongoing investigation is a testament to the NHTSA's commitment to resolving this matter in a comprehensive and thorough manner. Automotive News has reported that Stellantis, the parent company of Ram, is fully cooperating with the investigative process, underlining the industry's dedication to ensuring the safety and reliability of vehicles on the road.
As the investigation unfolds, the hope remains that a swift and effective resolution will be reached, safeguarding both the drivers of Ram 1500 trucks and the broader public.