Not-so-happy holidays for Ram owners as Fiat Chrysler recalls pickup trucks

2015 Ram Laramie Limited
Getting a new car for the holidays would be something of a dream. Having your existing car roll away, on the other hand, would be a nightmare. Unfortunately, owners of Ram pickup trucks are running the risk of that nightmare now that Fiat Chrysler has announced that 1.8 million of these vehicles can be inadvertently moved out of the park position.

On Friday, the carmaker announced a recall of these pickup trucks, noting that seven people had suffered minor injuries as a result of the alarming malfunction, and further, that a “small number” of crashes may be a result of the problem. Apparently, the hiccup is related to a part called the brake transmission shift interlock, which when functioning properly, disallows a car from moving out of park until the driver steps on the brake pedal. Unfortunately, Fiat Chrysler found that in some situations, heat buildup around the gearshift causes the shift interlock to fail. That means that even if your foot remains on the brake, your truck might move of its own volition.

“FCA US will restore BTSI function in the vehicles subject to this recall,” said Tom Mc Carthy, Head of Safety Compliance and Product Analysis at Fiat Chrysler said in a statement. “Nevertheless, as always, we urge customers to use their parking brakes, as recommended, and to ensure that child occupants are not left unattended.”

The massive recall includes several models, including the Ram 1500, 2500, 3500, 4500, and 5500 pickups from the years between 2010 and 2017. Luckily, if you have a brand new truck (which is to say, anything built after December 31, 2016), you should be alright. Of the trucks recalled, 1.48 million were sold in the U.S., whereas 290,000 are in Canada and Mexico. A small proportion are found in other markets.

This isn’t the first time that Fiat Chrysler has run into dangerous defects. As the New York Times reported, a couple years ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fined the company $105 million for failing to promptly notify customers of recalls and delaying repairs of some 11 million vehicles involved in 23 recalls. And just last year, actor Anton Yelchin was tragically killed when his Fiat Chrylser Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his driveway, pinning him.

If you have an affected Ram truck, you should be advised as to when you can schedule service. Those with concerns can call FCA U.S. directly at (866)-220-6747.

Product Review

2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers German refinement and tech at an affordable price

With enough tech to make villains jealous, the Volkswagen Jetta punches above its class as a forward-thinking sedan. Spacious, comfortable, and efficient, the Jetta is a refined offering. German refinement comes with a serious attitude.
Cars

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.
Cars

Shift it yourself: How to drive stick in a manual transmission car

Driving a manual transmission car might seem intimidating at first, but it's not as difficult as you might think. Knowing how to operate this type of gearbox will serve you well. Here's everything you need to know to learn how to drive…
Cars

Tesla gives us a cryptic look at its cyberpunk, Blade Runner-inspired pickup

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself. It could make its debut in 2019.
Cars

This modified Land Rover Discovery is heading to Africa to help fight malaria

A Land Rover Discovery will be used by the Mobile Malaria Project for a 3,900-mile trek across Africa to study malaria. The SUV is equipped with a mobile gene-sequencing laboratory, as well as everything necessary for serious off-roading.
Cars

Volvo wants to use speed limiters, in-car cameras, and data to reduce crashes

Volvo believes new tech is the best way to improve car safety. The Swedish automaker will let owners set speed limits when loaning out their cars, install cameras to monitor drivers, and use data to design better safety features.
Product Review

The Ferrari Portofino is the super stallion you’ll want to drive every day

With the introduction of the Portofino, Ferrari addresses the California T’s stylistic shortcomings while improving comfort, convenience, and performance. There’s little “entry-level” about this super stallion.
Cars

BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe teased way ahead of its November debut

The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is coming to the United States, eventually. The new compact BMW won't be unveiled until the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The Gran Coupe will be based on a front-wheel drive platform.
Cars

Tesla lets you skip the dealership, order a car from the comfort of your couch

Tesla has always bypassed traditional dealerships, and it has now adopted an online-only sales model that lets customers configure and order their car without leaving their couch. Here's what you need to know.
Cars

Autonomous shuttle rides coming to New York City via Optimus Ride

Workers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in NY City will soon be able to make their way around the 300-acre industrial park in Optimus Ride's self-driving shuttles. The tech startup says it's the first trial of its kind in the state.
Cars

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi group uses Microsoft cloud platform for connected cars

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is launching a new cloud platform for its cars. Based on Microsoft Azure, the Alliance Intelligent Cloud will enable features like connected services and over-the-air updates.
Cars

The 2019 Toyota C-HR gains a popular tech feature as its price comes down

Toyota has updated the C-HR, its entry-level crossover, by adding an entry-level trim level to the lineup. Every model regardless of price also comes standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay.
Cars

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an exercise in form-over-function design

Porsche expanded its lineup of SUVs with a swoopier evolution of the Cayenne named Cayenne Coupe. Don't let the name fool you: it still has four doors. It stands out with a fastback-like roofline that's lower than the Cayenne's.
Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.