Chrysler Recalls 1.2 Million Trucks Over Faulty Steering, Mainly In US

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Chrysler plant 2011
Chrysler auto workers assembling an engine.

Chrysler Group said on Friday that it is recalling about 1.2 million trucks, in the U.S., Canada and Mexico as well as outside North America, to check for manufacturing defects affecting the steering system.

The Auburn Hills, Mich.-based company, which is controlled by Italy’s Fiat SpA (BIT:F), said steering tie rods in an estimated 453,000 vehicles may have been misaligned during assembly or service, and of the 1.2 million trucks being recalled, 726,000 may not need any repair.

“Chrysler Group is casting the net wider than necessary to identify those vehicles that require repair,” the company said in a statement. “Any found to have suspect tie-rod assemblies will have those components replaced at no cost to customers.”

The recall covers three groups of trucks, of which the largest affects about 842,400 Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks from model years 2003-2008. An estimated 116,000 in this group may have tie-rod assemblies that could become misaligned and lead to component fracture and steering loss.

Two other groups include 294,000 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups from model years 2008-2012, chassis cabs and 2008 Ram 1500 4x4 Mega Cabs, as well as 43,500 Ram 4500 and 5500 4x4 chassis cabs from model years 2008-2012.

The automaker said it is aware of six accidents and two injuries involving 2500 and 3500 trucks from model years 2008-2012 and an additional accident with no injuries involving the remaining models.

Work to resolve the defects could start in January, but replacement parts may not be available until late 2014, Chrysler said, adding that interim service would involve component inspections and realignment.

About 968,000 vehicles of the total number affected are in the U.S., while 157,000 are in Canada, 37,100 in Mexico, and 18,000 outside North America.

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