Fiat Chrysler Automobiles makes a lot of pickups each year. More than just about anything else it makes. As a result, when it issues a recall campaign, it might be quite massive.
And that’s exactly the case with this one, as the Italian-American automaker is calling in over a million of its Ram trucks for a problem with their tailgates.
The recall is limited strictly to 2015-17 models of the Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500. And among those, only vehicles equipped with automatic tailgate locks and the shorter cargo beds are affected, while those with manual locks and eight-foot beds are excluded.
And those are just the ones in the United States. In addition to those 1.1 million, there’s another quarter-million in Canada, nearly 20,000 in Mexico, and 25,000 outside of North America.
The problem has been narrowed down to “a small internal component that may break over time,” allowing the tailgate to unlatch and open freely, potentially while the vehicle is in motion. And that could cause one heck of a mess.
The fix consists of upgrading the tailgate locking mechanisms on those affected pickups. In the meantime, FCA’s encouraging owners to secure any loose cargo with the tie-down rings, cleats, and bulkhead dividers that are fitted as standard.
The Ram division sold an all-time high of 500,723 pickups in the United States last year. Add to those the 487,558 it sold in 2016 and 451,116 in 2015 and you’re looking at nearly 1.44 million trucks over the period covered by the campaign. So even with the exclusions, we’re still looking at the vast majority of those trucks being affected by this recall.
FCA points out that the problem doesn’t affect the all-new 2019 model, which features a redesigned tailgate mechanism.