What a dubiously grand entrance for Stellantis. A few months into its tenure, the new owner of Fiat-Chrysler has made two unwanted announcements.
First, the new owner of Ram said the wheels of more than a half-million of its Ram pickup trucks can fall off.
And now there’s word that more than 140,000 Ram trucks have been recalled because their backup cameras may stop working when the vehicle is in reverse.
The problematic wheels prompted the manufacturer to recall 510,000 Ram 3500 heavy-duty pickups and Ram 4500 and 5500 cab-chassis vehicles from 2012 to 2021 and mostly those from North American have been recalled.
The trucks in question have dual rear wheels and flanged lug nuts.
Ram trucks recalled twice
Stellantis said some service and owner’s manuals had the wrong torque specifications for tightening the lug nuts that hold the wheels to the hubs. If the nuts were tightened too much, the wheel studs could be damaged and the wheels could come off.
The manufacturer, which uses the slogan “Grab Life,” called the issue “wheel separation.”
The latest problem affects only trucks from the 2021 model year equipped with a specific trailer reverse steering option.
The fault is caused by a software problem involving the trailer reverse steering system, which helps drivers back up more easily when a trailer is attached. In addition to the backup camera not displaying an image, owners may notice a warning light for the vehicle’s electronic throttle control illuminated on the instrument panel behind the steering wheel.
No component defect in the Ram trucks
“There is no component defect and torque applied during vehicle assembly is within specification, so the recall condition may only be present in vehicles that have been subject to wheel-removal as part of a service or upfit procedure,” according to a news release.
“Dealers are currently in possession of correct service instructions, and production vehicles are now being delivered with updated owner’s manuals. The campaign is limited to vehicles equipped with dual rear wheels and flanged lug nuts.”
The recall affects trucks in the United States, Canada and Mexico, and an estimated 104 vehicles elsewhere.
The company, which plans to correct service and owner’s manuals and inspect and replace wheel studs as needed, free of charge, said it would inform customers when service is available.
Ram dealers will also perform a software update to fix the backup camera, free of charge.
Stellantis informed its current roster in January from the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Peugeot maker PSA Group. It said it’s unaware of any related injuries or accidents. The company detailed the only affected vehicles would be those that have had wheels removed for service.
James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on his website, www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: email@example.com.