NHTSA Investigating Chrysler for Slow Response on Ram Recalls
Agency Cites Slow Execution, Poor Communication
Chrysler and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) don’t exactly have what we’d describe as a warm-fuzzy relationship. You may remember Chrysler’s unusual challenge to NHTSA’s recall of Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty models by reiterating that the vehicles met applicable safety standards at the time they were built. Chrysler ultimately capitulated to the agency’s request and installed a rear hitch assembly on affected vehicles that acted as guard against fuel tank intrusion. NHTSA is one again on Chrysler’s case for what it perceives as slow execution on two recalls of the Ram truck, as well as citing generally “poor communication” in regard to safety and recall issues, according to Reuters.
The investigation was reportedly prompted by complaints by as many as 1,000 customers about delayed fulfillment of replacement parts at Chrysler dealerships for the recall repair. The recall in question involved 972,000 2003-2012 Ram trucks for defective steering tie rods. Affected owners were notified in December 2013 that they could take their trucks to dealerships starting in January 2014 for repairs but were told there would be a delay of several months to perform the recall due to a shortage of available replacement parts. Chrysler reportedly suspended the recall over quality concerns, leading to the delay, but has resumed production and shipping of the recall-related components.