There are many reasons why an automaker issues a recall. It could be a common problem such as faulty brakes or defective airbags. On the other hand, there have also been some extremely creepy cases like when Toyota Camrys were recalled due to a spider infestation. The eight-legged creatures had made themselves a home in the air conditioner unit. Spiders were also the culprits behind a Mazda 6 recall.
Thankfully, very few vehicles are recalled due to spider invasions.
The biggest recall to date in US history was issued by Toyota and it involved several models. The 2009/2010 Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Matrix, Highlander, Prius, RAV4, Tundra, and Tacomas were recalled due to gas pedal failure. The design of the gas pedal on these vehicles allowed the floor mat to jam the gas pedal. This caused the vehicle to accelerate rapidly, and it resulted in 30 wrecks before Toyota took action. More than 9 million cars were recalled.
Ram, formerly Dodge Ram, now has the record for a recall with the fewest number of vehicles. In this case, it is a single 2019 Ram 1500.
Why is the Ram being recalled?
No, it wasn’t spiders. It’s actually something that seems very simple but could potentially have deadly consequences. The NHTSA reports, “Failure of the instrument cluster to properly illuminate may prevent the driver from receiving warnings about the vehicle’s systems and increase the risk of a crash.” In other words, the instrument cluster isn’t lighting up. While this may not seem like it’s a big deal, if something were to go wrong, such as engine problems or the ABS, you need to know about it. Not receiving essential information could lead to a wreck.
Why was only a single vehicle impacted and not a larger number?
That part isn’t very clear, but the NHTSA reports that it’s related to another larger recall. Chrysler received word in January that the 2019 Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, and Chryslers had instrument panels that weren’t lighting up. In February, test vehicles were reported with the same problem, and a voluntary recall was issued in March. Chrysler later learned there was a small number of Ram 1500s that were impacted. Further research revealed that it was only one vehicle.
How will Chrysler correct the problem?
It’s a simple fix, so the owner of the impacted Ram isn’t going to get a new vehicle, although that would be pretty nice. Chrysler will have one of its dealerships replace the instrument control panel. FCA sent out instructions for dealers stating, “NOTE: If the vehicle cluster is not displaying vehicle information when the customer arrives for the recall simply disconnect the 12-volt battery ground cable for 5 -10 seconds and reconnect. This procedure will reset the cluster to display vehicle information.” The dealer is also instructed to provide a rental car to the owner so that there is no inconvenience while the Ram is being repaired.
How will the owner be notified?
Ram is currently alerting dealerships and trying to track down the owner. The Vin number of the Ram being recalled is 19V556000. The FCA states, “Chrysler will notify the owner, and a dealer will replace the instrument cluster, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 13, 2019. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is V83.”
While many consumers may be concerned about recalls, it is worth noting that IIHS considers the Ram 1500 to be one of the safest trucks on the road.
How do you know if your car has a recall?
Many people assume automakers will contact them about a recall on their vehicle, but this isn’t always the case. It’s often left up to the owner to find out for themselves about recalls. Thankfully there are several reliable sources you can check.
The NHTSA has a new site called safercar.gov. It has a simple format that’s easy to use. Just type in the VIN for your vehicle, and it’ll give you information about any recalls you have.
Another site you can check out is cars.com. Enter the make, model, and year of your vehicle as well as your zip code.
The DMV has a site for checking VINs as well.
Since dealers are responsible for repairing vehicles that have been recalled free of charge, checking out these sites regularly may save you a lot of money.