NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 1997 Dodge Ram 1500

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 1997 Dodge Ram 1500, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:


    NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ98002

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: March 10, 1998
    • Date Closed: N/A
    • Recall: No recall yet

    Component(s): Power Train:Automatic Transmission:Cooling Unit And Lines

    Summary: On April 17, 1997, the Chrysler corporation filed a defect information report concerning approximately 800,000 1994 through 1997 Dodge Ram pickups equipped with V6 or V8 engines and automatic transmissions, 1995 through 1997dodge Ram pickups equipped with the V10 engine and automatic transmission, and the 1995 and 1996 Dodge Ram van/wagon equipped with automatic transmission.ODI has received eleven reports concerning transmission leakages from the quick connector joints resulting in eight fires.the reported vehicles included are the 1994 and 1995 Jeep Wrangler, 1995 and 1996 Cherokee, 1993 through 1996 Grand Cherokee, and 1994 and 1995 Dodge Dakota.the purpose of this investigation is to examine the scope of recall 97V-084.closing summary: Further investigation of consumer reports revealed that some of the transmission leakage was due to other connections along the cooling lines.in the fire incidents, there were indications that some of these vehicles were either used beyond the vehicle's towing capability or had improper transmission repair.in addition, the recalled Ram pickup trucks, 98V-084, have an exhaust manifold near the plastic quick connector joints which effectively presents a heat source to ignite the hot transmission fluid in the event of a leakage.the subject vehicles' quick connector joints are either too far, or positioned completely away, from a heat source or exhaust components.consequently, the fire reports of the subject vehicles are significantly less than those of the Dodge Ram pickup trucks.based on the available information, a safety-related defect trend has not been identified at this time and further use of Agency resources does not appear to be warranted.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.the Agency reserves the right to take further action if warranted by future circumstances.


    NHTSA Defect Investigation #DP03006

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: September 23, 2003
    • Date Closed: April 08, 2004
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Seats
    Seats:Front Assembly:Recliner

    Summary: ODI has identified 30 incidents where it is alleged the seat back collapsed in a rear impact crash.these incidents are alleged to have contributed to 23 injuries and two deaths.the data presented to ODI show that the seat back strength of the front seats comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard no. 207. "seating system."according to daimlerchrylser the front seats were designed to collapse rearward in rear impact crashes as part of the energy absorptioncapabilities of the seating system to reduce the chance of serious injury to the occupant.rates of occurance were compared to peer vehicles, and it was shown that the performace of the subject vehicle was comparable to those vehicles.in view of the forgoing, it is unlikely that NHTSA would issue an order for the notification remedy of a safety defect in the subject vehicles as defined by the petitioner at the conclusion of the investigation requested in the petition.therfore, in view of the need to allocate and prioritize the NHTSA's limited resources to best accomplish the Agency's mission, the petition is denied.for further details, refer to ODI's response to the petition published in the federal register vol.69, no. 60, dated March 29, 2004.


    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA98005

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: February 27, 1998
    • Date Closed: May 24, 1999
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Hydraulic

    Summary: Alleged plastic clutch tube may fail from exposure to exhaust heat, resulting in loss of clutch function and possible vehicle fire.


    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE97043

    Component(s): Service Brakes, Hydraulic

    Summary: Alleged clutch line may melt and leak hydraulic fluid in the vicinity of the exhaust manifold.leaked hydraulic fluid could ignite and cause a vehicle fire.


    NHTSA Defect Investigation #RQ00012

    Component(s): Structure

    Summary: Onmarch 20, 1995, DaimlerChrysler filed a defect report for 181,008 1994 and 1995 Dodge Ram trucks manufacturedc from January 21, 1994 - October 25, 1994 at the Dodge city assembly plant and from March 26, 1994 - December 8, 1994 at the Lago Alberto assembly plant.the secondary hood latch rod could bind on the guide bracket and prevent engagement of the secondary latch.if this occurs when the primary latch is not engaged, the hood could fly up when the vehicle is being driven and obstruct the drier's vision increasing the potential for a crash.the recall remedy was to replace the sedcondary hood latch.owners were notified in August of 1995.this recall rate as of 2/97 was 68%

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