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NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2006 Dodge Ram 3500

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 2006 Dodge Ram 3500, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Air Bag Inflator Rupture

    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA15001

    • Status:
      PENDING
    • Date Opened: February 24, 2015
    • Date Closed: N/A
    • Recall: No recall yet

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE14-016 in June 2014 based on six inflator rupture incidents involving consumer owned vehicles produced by five vehicle manufacturers.All six vehicles were operated in Florida or Puerto Rico at the time of the rupture and for the majority of their service life, and were equipped with inflators produced by Takata, a tier-one supplier of automotive air bag systems.During the course of PE14-016, ODI determined that five additional vehicle manufacturers used inflators of a similar design and vintage also supplied by Takata. No evidence of field failures was found in vehicles produced by these five additional manufacturers.Nonetheless, at ODI's insistence, all 10 vehicle manufacturers initiated a regional recall within approximately two weeks of the opening of the investigation.The regions recalled initially included Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, areas with high absolute humidity and climatic conditions believed to be a significant factor in the inflator ruptures.As part of the recall actions, inflators removed from remedied vehicles are to be returned to Takata for testing.Takata's initial test results on passenger inflators from remedied vehicles indicated a much higher than anticipated rupture frequency for inflators returned from Florida.Accordingly ODI requested all 10 manufacturers expand the regional recalls for passenger inflators to include other geographic areas where high absolute humidity conditions exist, including the Gulf States and other coastal areas.Takata's testing of the passenger inflators to date continues to indicate this geographic area as having the highest risk, with no ruptures occurring from inflators returned from outside the expanded recall regions.During PE14-016 four additional passenger inflator field events occurred, all in vehicles from the same expanded geographic region.Also during PE14-016 four additional driver inflator field events occurred including two in vehicles from regions not known for high absolute humidity, specifically California and North Carolina.Accordingly, ODI requested all five of the affected vehicle manufacturers currently using the subject Takata driver inflators expand to nationwide recalls.Significantly, neither of the affected vehicle manufacturers or Takata provided any explanation to account for these two driver air bag inflator ruptures outside the area of high absolute humidity.Takata testing of returned driver inflators indicates a lower rupture frequency as compared to passenger inflator testing.All test ruptures reported by Takata to date have occurred on inflators returned from high absolute humidity areas.The investigation now includes all manufacturers and vehicles known to be affected at this time.ODI's investigation will focus on, among other things, root cause analysis, other potential defect consequences, identification of affected vehicles scope, and adequacy of the remedy.The five ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10537899, 10568848, 10585224, 10605877, 10651492

  2. INVESTIGATION: Air Bag Inflator Rupture

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE14016

    Component(s): Air Bags
    Air Bags:Frontal

    Summary: The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened PE14-016 in June 2014 based on six inflator rupture incidents involving consumer owned vehicles produced by five vehicle manufacturers.All six vehicles were operated in Florida or Puerto Rico at the time of the rupture and for the majority of their service life, and were equipped with inflators produced by Takata, a tier-one supplier of automotive air bag systems.During the course of PE14-016, ODI determined that five additional vehicle manufacturers used inflators of a similar design and vintage also supplied by Takata. No evidence of field failures was found in vehicles produced by these five additional manufacturers.Nonetheless, at ODI's insistence, all 10 vehicle manufacturers initiated a regional recall within approximately two weeks of the opening of the investigation.The regions recalled initially included Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, areas with consistently high absolute humidity and climatic conditions believed to be a significant factor in the inflator ruptures.As part of the recall actions, inflators removed from remedied vehicles are to be returned to Takata for testing.Takata's initial test results on passenger inflators from remedied vehicles indicated a much higher than anticipated rupture frequency for inflators returned from Florida.Accordingly, ODI requested all 10 manufacturers expand the regional recalls for passenger inflators to include other geographic areas where high absolute humidity conditions exist, including the Gulf States and other coastal areas.Takata's testing of the passenger inflators to date continues to indicate this geographic area as having the highest risk, with no ruptures occurring from inflators returned from outside the expanded recall regions.During PE14-016, four additional passenger inflator field events occurred, all in vehicles from the same expanded geographic region.Also during PE14-016, four additional driver inflator field events occurred including two in vehicles from regions not known for high absolute humidity, specifically California and North Carolina.Accordingly, ODI requested all five of the affected vehicle manufacturers currently using the subject Takata driver inflators expand to nationwide recalls.Significantly, neither of the affected vehicle manufacturers or Takata provided any explanation to account for these two driver air bag inflator ruptures outside the area of high absolute humidity.Takata testing of returned driver inflators indicates a lower rupture frequency as compared to passenger inflator testing.All test ruptures reported by Takata to date have occurred on inflators returned from high absolute humidity areas.The PE is now closed/upgraded to an Engineering Evaluation (EA15-001) to include all manufacturersand vehicles known to be affected at this time.ODI's EA investigation will focus on, among other things, root cause analysis, other potential defect consequences, identification of affected vehicles scope, and adequacy of the remedy.The recalls related to this PE are: 14V343, 14V344, 14V348, 14V351, 14V353, 14V655, 14V700, 14V701, 14V752, 14V763, 14V770, 14V773, 14V787, 14V802 and 14V817.The number of vehicles affected are an estimate since some vehicles may have both the driver and passenger side inflators recalled. The five ODI reports cited above can be reviewed online at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchNHTSAID under the following identification numbers: 10537899, 10568848, 10585224, 10605877, 10651492

  3. INVESTIGATION: TURN SIGNAL MALFUNCTION

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE08059

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: October 07, 2008
    • Date Closed: April 17, 2009
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Exterior Lighting:Turn Signal
    Exterior Lighting:Turn Signal:Switch

    Summary: ODI has closed this investigation based on a review of the complaints, other field data and technical data submitted by Chrysler to the Agency.Chrysler reports that the multifunction switch is hard wired into the instrument cluster (ic) and the cluster decides which direction has been selected based on an electrical signal from the multifunction switch.the ic sends a signal to the vehicle's totally integrated power module (tipm) and the tipm responds by controlling the voltage and flash rate of the exterior turn signal lamps and the instrument panel indicator.Chrysler's testing found that improper levels of resistance within the multifunction switch may result in the ic selecting the wrong direction.complainants say that when the turn signal is used, the vehicle may signal the opposite direction and that the problem is often intermittent.this would be evident from the turn indicator lamps on the instrument panel as well as the exterior turn signal lamps.either right or left signals may be affected. Dealers are correcting this by replacing multifunction switches on the steering column.neither ODI nor Chrysler has received any report of a crash related to the subject condition. Chrysler will implement an extended warranty on the subject vehicle population.notification to vehicle owners is to begin in May 2009.this action is consistent with that taken in other investigations involving turn signal failures at similar rates.further use of Agency resources does not appear to be warranted at this time.accordingly this investigation is closed.the closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety related defect does not exist.the Agency will take further action if warranted by the circumstances.

  4. INVESTIGATION: Clutch Interlock Switch Malfunction

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE14013

    Component(s): Electrical System:Ignition:Switch
    Power Train:Clutch Assembly

    Summary: On December 16, 2104, Chrysler Group LLC submitted a Safety Recall Report to NHTSA describing a defect in the clutch ignition interlock switches in approximately 66,819 model year (MY) 2006 through early-2007 Dodge Ram Trucks, Dodge Dakota, and Mitsubishi Raider vehicles equipped with manual transmissions and built between July 1, 2005 and July 31, 2006 (NHTSA Recall No. 14V-795, Chrysler Recall No. P80), including 38,969 MY 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 vehicles that are part of the subject vehicle population for PE14-013.Chrysler's Safety Report states that:1) the clutch ignition interlock switch return springs may experience fatigue failure due to material issues; 2) if the return springs are broken, the switch contacts may not reflect actual clutch pedal position; and 3) the failures could result in a vehicle experiencing unintended movement if the ignition is cranked when the clutch pedal is not being pressed.Chrysler's recall remedy will replace the clutch ignition interlock switch on all affected vehicles with a switch with a more robust design.On May 19, 2014, ODI opened PE14-013 to investigate clutch ignition interlock failure in MY 2004 through 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks with manual transmissions, based on two MY 2006 complaints and one MY 2004 complaint.One of the MY 2006 complaints involved a fatality that occurred when a young child was able to start a MY 2006 Ram 3500 truck that was parked with the transmission in gear, without depressing the clutch.The diesel engine started and the vehicle moved forward under power running over another child resulting in fatal injuries.ODI's analysis of failure data from all sources identified a total of 14 complaints and 16 warranty claims for the subject vehicles.Thirteen (13) of the complaints and all 16 warranty claims were for the 38,969 MY 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks that were included in 14V-795.The single complaint that was outside the scope of Chrysler's recall was the MY 2004 ODI complaint identified in the opening resume for PE14-013.Further analysis of this incident indicates that the cause of the clutch switch failure in this vehicle was spring damage caused by hydraulic fluid leakage from the clutch master cylinder into the switch.The field data did not show any other similar incidents of switch failures caused by clutch master cylinder leakage. This investigation is closed based on Chrysler's recall.

  5. INVESTIGATION: Chrysler's execution of 13V-528 & 529

    NHTSA Defect Investigation #AQ14003

    • Status:
      CLOSED
    • Date Opened: October 20, 2014
    • Date Closed: May 16, 2016
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Steering:Linkages:Tie Rod Assembly

    Summary: RMD opened this audit query (AQ) investigation in order to better understand and evaluate Chrysler's process(es) for timely and efficient execution of its safety recall campaigns, including its oversight and management of its parts division Mopar.Prior to opening this investigation, RMD had raised concerns with the company related to its execution of two safety recalls, 13V-528 and 13V-529, both of which involved safety defects that could cause the involved vehicles, FCA-s heavier Dodge Ram trucks, to lose steering control suddenly and without warning.Specifically, RMD inquired about the availability of parts for recall repairs, by email and phone on January 15, 2014 and February 19, 2014, due to the volume of complaints it was receiving from owners alleging parts scarcity and parts restrictions. FCA steadfastly denied it had placed parts restrictions on its dealers to manage issues of parts scarcity.FCA shared material showing it had uncommitted stock of parts available for its dealers. Nevertheless, consumer complaints of lack of parts continued.RMD made independent inquiries tosome dealers tobetter understand the conflicting claims between owners alleging lack of ability to repair their defective vehicles due to lack of parts, and FCA-s information showing availability of parts.Dealers informed and provided documentation to RMD on February 21, 2014 and February 25, 2014 showing FCA had, in fact, put into place parts restrictions and, further, had in some instances canceled dealerships- back orders for parts.In addition, during the course of its dialogue with dealers, RMD discovered that FCA had notified their dealerships on February 27, 2014 to return the recall remedy parts over quality concerns, and had therefore effectively canceled its safety recall program without notification to NHTSA. RMD issued a request for information (IR) on October 21, 2014.The company failed to respond to a number of the questions RMD asked that required it to produce specifics surrounding the repairs and parts ordering process with the recalls, including a question about whether a dealer order for recall parts could be canceled and under what circumstances.

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