Chrysler Recall: 278,000 Vehicles May Be Affected

Chrysler is recalling thousands of trucks because of rear axle safety concerns.

Chrysler included 278,000 pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles in the recall after becoming aware of possible rear differential issues.

A report by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that some rear axles were assembled with a pinion nut fastener that can loosen, resulting in failure.

The possible safety risk was stated in the report:

“If the rear axle pinion nut loosens, the axle can lock up and cause a loss of vehicle control and/or a vehicle crash with little warning.”

The Associated Press writes that the Chrysler recall includes several Ram 1500 pickups from the 2009 through 2012 model years. Also included in the recall are Dodge Dakota pickups from 2009 through 2011 and Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango SUVs from 2009.

The move follows last fall’s Chrysler recall of over 44,000 of its 2009 and 2010 Ram 1500 and Dodge Dakota models for the same issue. The newest recall, six times larger, was prompted by complaints from customers.

According to The New York Times, Chrysler has confirmed 15 accidents related to the rear differential issues. Eric Mayne. a spokesperson for the company, indicated that three of the incidents involved some type of injury. None of the reported accidents took place recently.

The company has announced that customers taking part in the recall will not be charged for maintenance required to resolve the axle problem. Chrysler dealerships will be equipped to install a retainer in the vehicle that secures the the axle’s fastener.

The automaker plans to notify customers directly if their truck or sports utility vehicle is affected. The Chrysler recall is expected to begin during March 2013