2011-Ram-2500.jpgby Patrick Rall

    The folks at Chrysler have announced through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that they will be recalling 243,000 Ram trucks, starting with pickups from the 2003, running all the way through 2011 model year trucks.

    This new Ram Truck recall includes 2008-2011 Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks
    manufactured between February 14th, 2008 and March 28th, 2011; 2008-2011
    Ram 3500 Chassis Cab two wheel drive trucks manufactured between
    February 14th, 2008 and March 28th, 2011; and 2008 Ram 1500 Mega Cab 4×4
    models built between February 14th, 2008 and August 15th, 2008. 
    Unfortunately, in addition to those trucks above which were equipped
    with the problematic component from the factory, 2003-2008 Ram trucks
    serviced for tie rod end problems may have had these problematic items
    added – extending the reach of this Ram recall.

    In the trucks affected by the new Ram recall, the driver’s side tie rod
    ball stud may fracture due to everyday wear and tear.  When the tie rod
    ball stud fractures, it allows the tie rod end to separate from the rest
    of the front wheel assembly. When that happens, the driver will lose
    the ability to control the direction of that wheel.

    Losing the ability to steer with one of the front wheels clearly
    increases the chances of an accident, but there is some good news for
    the owners of these 243,000 Ram pickups: Chrysler has only seen these
    tie rod end ball studs break at low speed when the steering wheel is
    turned hard to one side…similar to what someone would be doing when
    trying to move through a tight parking lot.  Because of that, having one
    wheel decide on its own which way to point is not as big of an issue as
    it would be when traveling at 70mph on the highway, but since a tie rod
    failure could cause serious issues, Chrysler is getting these trucks
    back to the dealerships for inspection.

    In the long run, this recall is to address something that could
    potentially be dangerous, but more realistically, it would just be a
    massive pain in the back to have one of your front tires pick its own
    path – especially if you are towing something.  Also, for those who
    off-road their Ram trucks, while the recall doesn’t address issues of
    failure during things like roaring through the woods, you would have to
    think that those tight, low speed turns could happen when in the woods.
    And when that happens, it can make for a long tow with one wheel that
    won’t turn properly.

    The Chrysler Group has not announced when this recall would officially
    begin but when they do, owners will be asked to return to their local
    Chrysler branded dealership where a technician will inspect the tie rod
    ends – making any changes as needed.  All of these services will be
    provided free of charge to the owner.