The Chrysler Group has issued two separate recall actions, one that affects 3,660 model year 2003 and 2004 Dodge Viper vehicles manufactured from November 1, 2001, through June 30, 2004, and the other, 278,222 Dodge Ram 1500, Dakota and Durango, and Chrysler Aspen vehicles.
We'll begin with the 2003-2004MY Vipers that may be fitted with a faulty air bag control module, which could cause the front airbags and/or seatbelt pretensioners to deploy unexpectedly while driving.
Chrysler plans to notify owners of the affected Viper models before the end of this month, however, the automaker told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that, "The remedy is expected to be available later in the year".
The second recall is much larger and includes the following models:
2009-2012MY Ram 1500 trucks manufactured from February 27, 2008, through June 30, 2009, and from December 1, 2009, through October 20, 2011;
2009-2011MY Dodge Dakota trucks manufactured from February 27, 2007, through June 30, 2009, and from December 1, 2009, through September 30, 2011;
2009MY Chrysler Aspen trucks manufactured from January 3, 2008, through December 18, 2008;
2009MY Dodge Durango trucks manufactured from January 3, 2008, through December 18, 2008.
In its filing to NHTSA, Chrysler says the rear axle pinion nut in these vehicles "may loosen due to an undersized pinion spline that can allow relative motion between the nut and companion flange". If this were to happen, the axle could lock up and cause a loss of vehicle control "with little warning", according to the Detroit carmaker.
Chrysler dealers will install a pinion nut retainer on the affected models, free of charge. The recall will begin during March of 2013.