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Ram reflash resolving recall

by Michael Volkmann on

After an internal investigation found that the brake-transmission shift interlock could overheat on some Ram trucks, FCA recalled around 225,000 pickups and chassis cabs with the steering-column-based shifters (those with the new “knob” were unaffected).  The problem has been linked to drivers who hold down the brake pedal for a long period while idling in Park.

Ram Harvest New Holland blue

If the system overheats, the shifter could be moved without having a key in the ignition or a foot on the brake, which could bring the truck to move unless the parking brake is correctly adjusted and applied. So far, there have been no known real-world accidents from this issue.

Sources told Allpar that there was a stop-sale notice to dealers, with replacement parts are showing up in the dealer system as being available in August. Fortunately, it now appears that two recalls may be resolved, either temporarily or permanently, with a software flash — at least, if the switch has not failed.

Vehicles affected include 2017-2018 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups, along with all capacities of chassis cabs; and 2016 Ram 3500 chassis cabs with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of under 10,000 pounds. A relatively small number of 2017-2018  Ram 1500 pickups are also included.

The software fix is now available for 2017-2018 Ram 1500, 2500, 3500, 4500, and 5500 trucks. It requires only a few minutes of time, a disconnection of the battery, a relearn of the CANBUS, and a quick test drive around the dealership.

Vehicles serviced under the previous recall will need to be serviced again. The service procedure is for recalls U11 and T79, and was disseminated on February 18.

Customers will be contacted when they can come in for service, and in the meantime should be sure to use the parking brake and, presumably, avoiding spending long periods idling in Park with their foot on the brake pedal. FCA’s Recall Information Center can be reached at (866) 220-6747.

Michael Volkmann, a mechanical engineer in the steel industry, autocrossed and road-raced Neons. Michael has drag raced his 1971 Duster 340, 2009 Challenger R/T, and Neons, of which he’s owned seven — one SRT4, three ACRs, and three Sport Coupes.

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