The Ram 2500 transmission has seen its fair share of problems. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall announced today was because of mechanical issues. Instead, it resulted from reported fires. The fires stem from leaking transmissions, which has resulted in 16 fires reported to the NHTSA. Almost 250,000 heavy-duty diesel trucks built from 2020 to now are part of the recall.
Which Ram trucks are part of the recall?
The affected trucks have 7-liter Cummins diesel engines and 68RFE automatic transmission combos. That includes 2020 to 2023 Ram 2500 and 2020 to 2022 Ram 3500 heavy-duty pickups. Transmissions are overheating during certain conditions, which also builds up pressure.
The pressure forces fluid into and through the dipstick tube, which can leak onto the hot exhaust components below. Contact with these hot components has resulted in fires. One person received minor injuries from one of these incidents.
As of now, Stellantis doesn’t have a fix for the leak problem. It suggests you can still drive the affected trucks, but be aware of warning lights on the instrument cluster. Should you get a warning light it asks for owners to call their local Ram dealership. The NHTSA has so far received 48 complaints and/or warranty claims about the problem, besides the 16 reported fires.
Didn’t Ram have a recall for this before?
Ram issued a similar recall back in early 2020 over this very same issue and affecting the same 2500 and 3500 series trucks. There were 84,000 2019 and 2020 pickups recalled with the 68RFE six-speed automatic transmission. The heat generated by the transmissions pushed fluid out of the dipstick tube, leading to fires when contacting the turbocharger or exhaust system below.
For this recall, the fix was replacing the transmission valve body separator plate, then reprogramming the control module. Your Ram warranty covers these issues. At this time we don’t know if the separator plate replacement will fix the currently affected Ram trucks.
What other transmission problems have these trucks had?
Numerous transmission problems have been reported for the 68RFE transmissions over the last several years. These include hard shifting and getting stuck in one gear. There have also been reports of transmissions going in and out of gear. Fixes for these issues run the gamut from replacing speed sensors and solenoids to topping off the fluid and correcting leaking cooler lines.
Keep in mind that the problems you encounter are usually covered under warranty and will be corrected free of charge. If you have concerns about your 2020 to current Ram 2500 or 3500 truck, you can contact Stellantis customer service at 800-853-1403. You can also contact the NHTSA safety hotline at 888-327-4239 or go to the website.