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Chrysler Recalls Nearly a Quarter Million Trucks

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Detroit, MIVarious complaints have dogged Chrysler with regard to steering problems inherent with some of their trucks. This week, the manufacturer made it official and pulled the trigger on a voluntary recall of nearly quarter million Ram pickups over the potential for "loss of directional stability," according to Chrysler.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that 2008 model year Ram 1500 Mega Cab 4x4 trucks, together with the 2500 and 3500 model heavy-duty trucks encompassing the 2003 to 2011 model years, are involved in the recall.

Chrysler, when informing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), indicated that most of the recalled trucks—168,000 units—are from the four most recent model years (2008 through 2011 inclusive).

The actual number of vehicles caught up in the recall is pegged at nearly 243,000.

Various media reports over the past year have focused on Chrysler truck owners and their complaints with regard to steering issues in the rugged and extremely popular series of trucks. Chrysler—in a fight over market share with a recovering General Motors and a robust Ford, undertook a recall in December of 15,000 units in its heavy-duty line 4500 and 5500 Ram pickups from 2008 through 2011 for a similar steering problem.

When the complaints kept coming with regard to other models in the Ram line, the NHTSA opened a defect investigation.

Chrysler has attributed the problem to a fracture of a tie rod brought about by a weakening of the ball stud in tandem with misalignment. The manufacturer maintains that the steering problem tends to occur at low speeds, such as speeds inherent with parking lots, and is noted when a driver is making a tight turn.

However, other media reports have featured Ram owners demonstrate a shake and rattle in the steering at higher speeds, while actively driving on roads.

The manufacturer noted in a communiqué posted on the Chrysler web site earlier this month that a few minor accidents, and one minor injury, have been attributed to the defect.

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