Automotive

Ram Recalling 1.4 Million Pickups Over Fears Tailgate Could Unlatch While Driving

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There are times when it’s useful to have your pickup’s tailgate fly open while you’re driving along. Like when you’re being chased by bad guys in a Hollywood action movie and need to roll a few barrels of gasoline off the bed into the villains’ path before casually leaning out and firing at them to set the whole lot alight.

Back in the real world it’s not so handy, which is why Stellantis has just announced it is recalling a staggering 1.4 million Ram trucks to check for faulty tailgate latches. Vehicles affected are 2019-22 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 trucks and the recall involves more than 1.23 million vehicles in the U.S. plus 120,000 in Canada, 26,000 in Mexico and around 27,000 in other parts of the world.

The problem isn’t the fault of a defective part, but down to potentially incorrect tailgate striker alignment. One, or in worst cases, both of the tailgate strikers might be incorrectly positioned and could potentially cause the rear panel to drop down, sending your cargo onto the floor, or even a following vehicle. Ram owners will be notified at the end of January and asked to bring their trucks to a dealer to have the strikers checked and, if necessary, adjusted.

Related: Honda Tried Contacting Accord Driver Who Died From Takata Airbag Over 300 Times In 11 Years

Though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the recall last week, the chronology on the defect notice reveals that the problem was first noted way back in July 2021. From that point the automaker monitored incidents, logging 15 customer assistance records, 736 warranty claims and 101 field reports before finally taking widespread action 18 months later.

The NHTSA’s recall notice warns that “an unintended tailgater opening wheel driving may result in a loss of unsecured cargo, possibly creating a road hazard and increasing the risk of a crash.” But Ram says it isn’t aware of any accidents or injuries that can be attributed to the fault.

This isn’t our first Ram defect story of the month, though. Last week we reported that the NHTSA had opened an investigation into intermittent or permanent loss of braking performance in 2017-18 Ram trucks.

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