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The Ram tailgate recall has nearly doubled in scope

by David Zatz on

Earlier this year, Ram recalled a million prior-generation pickups because the tailgate might open without warning. So far, there have been no injuries or accidents from this, but it’s easy to see how objects falling from the bed could cause following cars to crash.

The recall still only affects pickups with power locking tailgates; it covers 2015-17 Ram pickups, regardless of capacity (1500, 2500, and 3500) with eight-foot beds; all 2013-14 Ram pickups with power locking tailgates (either six or eight food beds, all capacities); and 2018 pickups made before April 1, 2018 (again, any bed, any capacity). The expansion added the 2013-14 pickups.

The problem is a tailgate actuator limited tab, which may fracture; that would allow the lock rod control bracket to over-travel, pulling on the lock rods, thereby releasing the latches. Once the latches are released, the tailgate is essentially unlocked, and can fall open.

The fix is to limit the locking actuator’s travel, so it can’t pull on the rods. Owners who already paid for a repair will be reimbursed if they send in their receipt or proof of payment. The new tailgate automatic locking control assembly has part number 68093354AC; we don’t yet know how much time the company is budgeting for its replacement. In the meantime, FCA pointed out that the owner’s manual already suggests securing all cargo while driving.

Dealers can fix the tailgates at no cost to the owner; in the meantime, owners should make sure all cargo is secured so nothing comes out if the tailgate does open. Coverage via the Freep article.

One Allpar member blamed the fact that the tailgate automatically locks and unlocks with the rest of the doors, and suggested disconnecting the power-lock mechanism until the recall, using a key for the tailgate.

The safety team first heard about the problem on May 8, 2018, as a result of customer complaints. Two days later, they met with Body Engineering to review the issue and learn about the lock system. Over the next two months, the team analyzed incidents, partly to discover the cause and partly to find the scope — which vehicles were vulnerable. In June and July, the team analyzed build and repair data, and evaluated vehicles. FCA had found no less than 5,643 warranty claims and repair orders which could be related to the problem, but was unaware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue. The company decided to do a voluntary safety recall on July 29, 2018; global in scope, the original recall covers the 1.1 million Rams sold in the US, another quarter million in Canada, around 19,400 in Mexico, and roughly 25,000 elsewhere in the world.

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