Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has issued a safety recall for select Ram Heavy Duty pickup trucks starting in 2020. Transmission fluid leaks under the hood can cause fires in nearly a quarter of a million 2500 and 3500 models.
The recall covers Ram 2500 pickups from 2020 to 2023, and 3500 models from 2020 to 2022. According to documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), trucks equipped with a 6.7-liter Cummins Turbo Diesel and 68RFE transmission can experience heat and increased pressure on the transmission. This can cause trans fluid to leak from the dipstick tube in the engine bay. If the liquid touches an ignition source, it may cause a fire. This issue was not mentioned on Ram trucks equipped with other engines or transmissions.
The Ram 2500 model is the most widely recalled, with 199,317 built from 4 September 2019 to 4 November this year potentially affected. 48,965 Ram 3500 trucks from the same period (as of 19 September 2019) are included in the recall, for a total of 248,342 vehicles. There is no fix for the issue at this time; a solution is being developed by FCA. The recall states that the Crash Indicator Light on the instrument cluster may illuminate prior to any event.
FCA launched an investigation into the 2020-2023 Ram Heavy Duty trucks in June, after becoming aware of an engine compartment fire that could indicate a potential trend. The automaker is aware of 16 field reports and 16 possible warranty claims related to transmission leaks. FCA is also aware of the potential for minor injury from this issue. There are no known fatalities.
This appears to be unrelated to NHTSA’s 2021 investigation of 600,000 Ram pickups with Cummins diesel. The focus was on the high pressure fuel pump which could cause the engine to stall.
FCA will begin notifying Ram owners affected by this recall by mail in late December. Owners can also call FCA customer service at 1-800-853-1403 and the ZA3 reference recall number.