The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has initiated an investigation concerning potential power steering loss issues in over 1 million RAM 1500 trucks. This inquiry, announced on a recent Tuesday, is aimed at determining whether these older model year trucks should be subject to a recall due to safety concerns.
According to the NHTSA, they have received a significant number of reports, totaling 380, outlining instances of either intermittent or complete loss of power steering assistance in RAM 1500 pickup trucks from the years 2013 to 2016. In some of these cases, there have been reports of accidents resulting from the power steering problems, with three crashes being documented.
In the past, in March of 2016, Fiat Chrysler Automotive, now operating as Stellantis, carried out a recall involving 440 vehicles. This recall was initiated to address a potential contamination issue within the electrical power steering unit. However, the recent influx of complaints indicates that there might be similar failures occurring in vehicles beyond the scope of the previous recall.
The NHTSA’s current investigation aims to assess the accuracy of the previously mentioned recall scope. This involves evaluating whether there might be an additional defect in play that necessitates further action.
Numerous complaints filed with the NHTSA have described various problems stemming from the power steering issues. Some of these reports have highlighted costly repairs or severe safety concerns. In one instance, a driver from Florida recounted an incident involving a locked steering wheel in a 2013 Ram 1500, with repair estimates exceeding $2,000 for parts alone.
Another complaint detailed an incident in California, where a driver was operating a 2014 Ram 1500 at a speed of 55 miles per hour on a busy road. The steering wheel suddenly seized, rendering it immobile. Despite the challenge, the driver managed to navigate the truck through traffic and to the side of the road.
In yet another report, a driver of a 2015 Ram 1500 stated that due to a power steering assist failure, they ended up driving into a ditch, causing minor damage to the vehicle’s front end.
The NHTSA’s probe into the power steering loss issues affecting these RAM 1500 trucks seeks to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers on the road. The agency aims to determine whether a broader recall is warranted based on the collected information and the potential risks associated with the reported power steering problems.