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Dodge recalls 2010-11 Ram diesels for power steering cap

by David Zatz on

In an almost bizarre report, Chrysler filed a recall notice with the NHTSA which noted that an estimated 1% of Ram diesels in model years 2010 and 2011 could have a power steering cap which fails to relieve pressure properly. The result can be brake lights that are slow to go out, which could increase the risk of an accident. This only affects vehicles with the hydroboost brake system. Chrysler will notify owners and replace the caps, starting around February 2010 when parts are available.  This is recall K33 and it covers 76,122 trucks built in the Salitillo plant in Mexico from March 2009 to October 2010. The caps were supplied by JTEKT North America, headquartered in Tennessee.

The two hydraulic systems – steering and braking – are linked in the Hydroboost system which uses power steering system pressure for brake power assistance.

The issue was reported to NHTSA on December 7, 2010. Chrysler first noted a problem when reviewing warranty claims for May 2010, finding 13 claims during that time for the brake light switches being replaced. They found 12 similar claims had been filed over the vehicles’ full lifespan. Dealers were replacing the switches themselves, but engineers investigated and found that part was not an issue; they found that high power steering system pressures could cause the brake to engage partly, turning the brake lights on. A revised design was created to avoid the pressure issue; it was put into production in October 2010.

Chrysler received a total of 175 warranty claims through October 2010 and wrote that they were “unaware of any field reports…accidents, injuries, or property damage” resulting from the problem. Owners who have paid for repairs can get repaid by Chrysler after sending proof of payment.

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