Fiat-Chrysler, Ram Trucks Recent Quality Concerns Onslaught
Chrysler and Ram Trucks are currently facing an onslaught of negative news surrounding quality and recall concerns. If you haven’t been following along, here is a quick recap.
Consumer Reports Showing
Starting off the bad news this week was a terrible showing for Fiat-Chrysler of America and Ram products in the latest consumer reports ranking. We told you about this on Monday. Since the news broke, FCA’s quality chief Doug Betts was shown the door and his duties reassigned to a temporary manager.
Betts came to Chrysler seven years ago from Nissan with the mission to improve quality and change the brand’s reputation for poor quality. This didn’t work out so well.
The Consumer Reports report comes after the June release of the J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study. This study found Jeep and Fiat ranked near the bottom with Chrysler barely above average. Ram finished behind Toyota and Ford in that survey.
NHTSA Investigates Chrysler, Ram Recalls
The same day, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said it is investigating Ram’s slow handling of a two recalls. The recall in question was issued last year and involves 972,000 2003-2012 Ram trucks for defective steering tie rods.
Apparently, Ram told owners in December 2013 about the recall. It said owners could start taking their trucks to dealers starting in January 2014. Yet, Ram then said there would be a delay of several months due to a shortage of available replacement parts. Chrysler then, reportedly, suspended the recall over quality concerns, leading to the delay, and has since resumed production and shipping of the parts. Did you follow all of that? No? Neither did the more than 1,000 customers who complained to the NHTSA.
Some are speculating this investigation is just backflash from the NHTSA after Chrysler told them to pound sand last year when NHTSA wanted the automaker to recall 2 million older Jeep Grand Cherokee and Liberty SUVs for a fire hazard. This much publicized case was over the placement of the fuel tank on the SUVs. NHTSA said a rear-end collision could spark a fire. In the end, the two sides compromised with Chrysler agreeing to install a hitch to prevent a fire. How a hitch could stop a rear-end collision sparking a fire, remains a mystery to us.
Ram Issues Fire-Related Recall
Yesterday, the FCA issued a recall affecting an estimated 381,876 2010-14 HD Ram trucks equipped with the 6.7L
FCA says the recall is over a terminal connector near the fuel heater which may be subject to friction-induced corrosion. This can lead to overheating and potential fuel leakage.
The recall was prompted by two incidents, neither of which caused fires, injuries or accidents according to the automaker.
Whether you are a Ram fan or not, you have to admit this has been a tough week for the automaker. For years, it has been trying to shake a nasty reputation for poor quality. Weeks like this don’t help it one bit.
Filed Under: Auto News