Chrysler is recalling 278,222 Ram pickup trucks and Dodge and Chrysler SUVs due to a problem with the rear axle that could cause it to lock up, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The recall affects model-year 2009-12 Ram 1500 pickup trucks manufactured between Feb. 27, 2008, and June 30, 2009, and between Dec. 1, 2009, and Oct. 20, 2011; model-year 2009-11 Dodge Dakota pickup trucks manufactured from Feb. 27, 2007, through June 30, 2009, and from Dec. 1, 2009, through Sept. 30, 2011; model-year 2009 Chrysler Aspen SUVs manufactured between Jan. 3 and Dec. 18, 2008; and model-year 2009 Dodge Durango SUVs manufactured from Jan. 3 through Dec. 18, 2008.
The rear axle pinion could loosen due to the omission of an adhesive patch. If this happens, the axle could lockup and cause a loss of vehicle control with little warning, increasing the likelihood of a crash, NHTSA stated.
Chrysler will begin notifying owners in March, and dealers will install a pinion nut retainer for free. Owners with questions may contact Chrysler at 800-247-9753 or the NHTSA vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236; for more information go to www.safercar.gov.