Ram expands shift interlock recall; adds 229,000

Ram HD trucks with column shifters may shift out of Park unintentionally

Published: February 16, 2018, 5:30 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 3:03 PM

Ram 3500

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is recalling almost 229,000 Ram trucks from several model years to address a problem with the transmission shift interlock.

An FCA investigation in the US uncovered a propensity for some Brake Transmission Shift Interlock (BTSI) on column-mounted automatic shift levers to overheat. The issue seems linked to prolonged application of the brake pedal while the vehicle idles in Park.

The result is that the shift lever can be moved from the Park setting without the necessary safety feature of applying the brake pedal, and the lever may even be moved without the key in the ignition. If the vehicle were parked without the parking brake applied (which FCA points out is recommended, as stated in the vehicles’ owner’s manuals), it would them be possible for the vehicle to roll away, which could result in damage to the vehicle and/or injuries to people that may be in the way, although FCA says it is not aware of any such occurrences.

The recall applies mainly to heavy-duty pickups — 2017-2018 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups, and Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 chassis cabs, as well as 2016-2017 Ram 3500 chassis cabs with Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of less than 4,536 kg (10,000 lbs) — but also to some 2017-2018 Ram 1500 light duty pickups.

The recall affects 42,045 trucks in Canada, 180,975 in the US, 4,066 in Mexico and 1,422 outside North America. Owners will be alerted by mail to bring their trucks into an FCA dealership to have the issue remedied, though FCA did not offer information on the fix.

The company had previously recalled about 1.8 million of the same models (249,520 in Canada) from various model years between 2009 and 2017, for the same issue.