Chrysler Recalls Certain 2013 Ram 1500 Models with Transmission Shaft Issue

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Chrysler is recalling a small variety of Ram 1500 models due to a production issue that was employed early in the manufacture of them. Why doesn’t Ram spend more time working out problems at the production level?

Chrysler Recalls Certain 2013 Ram 1500 Models with Transmission Shaft Issue

Chrysler is recalling a small batch of Ram 1500 pickups because of an assembly issue.

This new recall is concerned with output transmission shafts that could be prone to breakage. It is affecting 2013 models of the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Ram 1500. Here is the statement:

Output shafts installed in some model-year 2013 vehicles were shaped using a two-stage forging method employed during early production. The resulting components may be subject to fracture in rare circumstances. The process has been replaced by a single-stage forging method.

Chrysler says it is limited to certain 2013 Ram 1500 models with 4×4, V-6 engine and 8-speed transmission. This translates into 5,662 cars and trucks worldwide of which 4,194 are in the U.S.

While this is a small recall on its products, it does raise the question as to why this isn’t caught at the production level? Considering how expensive these recalls can be, one would think that all the processes in building a truck would be thoroughly vetted. One does wonder, with all the changes at Ram and the continual state of laying off employees and facing bankruptcy over the past several years, if Ram has simply lost too much of its top engineering talent. Most often, the production process for new vehicles is planned and discussed over YEARS. There are clay models built, fullsize replicas produced and each step of the production process is fully analyzed. With less engineering talent through attrition and a possible rush to market mentality, it just makes us shake our head.

Also, it is a bit shocking then that this recall isn’t about a part issue, rather a production issue. More of a “we didn’t think it through enough” recall.

What do you think? Does this recall surprise you at all?

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  1. Rick says:

    Doesn’t surprise me for reasons the article covers. Their product has improved immensely. However, whenever I think of Chrysler, I think of Jaguar.

  2. Breathing Borla says:

    gee an article on TH over-blowing a small recall on a Ram.

    It was a change in forging methods on the out put shaft. They noticed that a two-stage method may lead to cracks in rare instances so they replaced the part manufacturing method to a single stage forging.

    It’s not un-common for a company, yes, toyota included to change the manufacturing method of a part once a problem comes to light.

    What’s the big deal? recalls happen to everyone. I think toyota lead the world the last 5 years. I bought them anyway.

    maybe toyota should step up to the plate and recall that POS AIP system that they insist on using. Or how about the steering racks?

    I just don’t see the logic in throwing stones over something like this.

    and then you question the engineering talent?

    really? Didn’t they just come out with more innovative features than anyone?

    air-suspension, diesel motor, 8-speed trans, etc? Takes a little engineering to do that.

    What did toyota engineer on the new tundra? seats and gauges, and a stamped tailgate?

    I don’t get this one Tim, except playing to TH and not offering real overall automotive journalism knowledge


    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      See the other note on your comment. Like I said, my overall point isn’t the many, new cool features that Ram has. It is more about product implementation as of late.

      Frankly, I really wish Ram would fix these issues. Third-party parts recall? No problem.

      Two recalls in as many months with manufacturing processes? Yep I’m calling you out on this.

    • Mickey says:

      Borla don’t get your panties in an uproar. This was done to Toyota back in 07 for the propeller shaft issue. You remember the tightening of the bolts to the diff. Same time C/R drops Tundra from being the best truck. Toyota did the recall for that issue. I to this date never had to tightened those bolts. With over 169k miles it isn’t an issue. Also you simply forgot what the Dodge/Chrysler workers were doing when the new Ram was coming out. You remember the QA issues? You’re being bias on a Tundra website about your beloved Ram. If you don’t like what you read skip this issue and read the others. Borla I didn’t see you complain when Tim & Jason wrote about the Tundra downfalls. They write what they see. This is info apparently you would like to hide.

  3. Breathing Borla says:

    I also wanted to add that this has nothing to do with the recall, if the Ram was a POS or had real issues, I would have no problem saying it, but this article seems like a stretch.

    maybe next time, I will keep reading as I like your overall writing, just not this one.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      I didn’t think you would care for this article! Lol!

      My point overall is why does it seem like Ram has problems with factory production issues and the others don’t. It seems like a larger issue.

  4. LJC says:

    Would the Cam Shaft Tower leak qualify as a factory production issue or a manufacturing quality problem?

    Does it qualify as a safety issue as well since oil can leak onto the exhaust manifold heat shield? I posted a photo on TundraTalk under the cam tower leak thread.

  5. breathing borla says:

    Maybe we have a disconnect here. This issue was how a part was made ( forging), not how it was installed on the production line. I think this is a third party part, I don’t think ram is forging their own output shafts. This stuff happens all the time.

    I still don’t think this is a big deal and this doesn’t make Chrysler any different than any other manufacturer. Again, they don’t forge parts on the production line. What am I missing?

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      Maybe a disconnect. I read it as they had an issue with the early production plan for their product. Now, we really don’t know from the information on who was responsible for that part production. I put it on Ram because it ultimately falls on their engineers to quality control and direct the supplier (if there is one) on its production and installation.

      You took it as the supplier screwed up, I think. I guess it all depends on your viewpoint.

      My reasoning is much like the AIP issue, we blame that on Toyota even though it is a third-party part. It was Toyota’s job to ensure the part worked as tested and their “fix” of re-calibrating the ECU is just a cover up really. I blame Toyota for the AIP issue and I blame Ram for not testing out the part and process prior to installation.

      Like you have said, these issues happen all the time. Sure, however, what is up with Ram having an issue twice in less than a month:

      My article really speaks to a larger issue at play. While everyone has recalls, why does Ram have two recalls that aren’t parts related, they are production related? Why didn’t they follow GMs lead and bring back top talent when they went to launch the product? Seems like if they had done that, they would have caught some of these issues.


      • breathing borla says:

        this is parts related Tim,

        that’s my whole point. A part manufacturing process had to be changed to change the way the part was made.

        This is not a production problem, it’s a part problem. It had nothing to do with a production plan.

        now if it was the way it was installed, then that’s a production problem.

        I think this is where we are having a disconnect. This is not a production or production plan problem, it’s a part problem as I stated above.

        they had to change the forging process of how a part was made, not how it was installed.

        • breathing borla says:

          I forgot to add (I wish there was an edit feature for these discussions BTW)

          for toyota and the AIP example, it was a design problem, not a part manufacturing problem with the AIP.

          The design let in too much moisture into the system, not the way the part was made. I further blame toyota for using the same damn system even on the new trucks even after they extended the warranty for select trucks kinda admitting there was a problem. This further tells you it was a design problem, not a parts manufacturing problem. The first (design)is much harder to fix than the latter (manufacturing).

          so this ram issue and the AIP issue are much different.

        • Tim Esterdahl says:

          I just see it differently. Look at the Ford story I just published. Ford found a problem with a supplier and demanded a better product. Why didn’t Ram do that same thing prior to production? My reasons: loss of talent, rush to market.

          Thus, I see this issue and the others as being related in that way.


  6. mk says:

    what about all the water pumps leaking/failing on several Toyota models well under 40K miles?

    what about rusted chrome on bumpers/lug nuts on 2007 and 2008 tundras?

    what about the tundra’s seat and frame being junk making noises. The list goes on with toyota as well as dodge.

    Sorry, I agree with breathing borla on this one. All mfgs. have suppliers who make inferior products for them. The issue I have is when Toyota and others do NOT go back to their suppliers and force them to change the problems. Toyota is guilty of that as well NOT doing this since my 2007, 2010, and current 2012 tundra all have had to have new entire drivers seat and frame replaced under 15K miles on all 3 tundra’s due to piece of junk seat/frame structure from mfg. making noises since apparently there was nothing wrong done in the assembly process of installing the seat or frame or so the dealer could find out otherwise.

    I even called corp. toyota about this after my 2010 tundra same problem with my seats and told them and the dealers I went to several times to take my seats back to their design team and fix the problem and then go back to their seat/frame suppliers to build a quality product. Yet, toyota doesn’t even listen to reason and being smart.

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