— FCA US (Chrysler Group) is recalling almost 67,000 older-model trucks after a child was killed because of a defective clutch ignition interlock switch.
FCA US says the recall involves the 2006-2007 Dodge Dakota, Dodge Ram 1500, Ram 2500, Ram 3500 and Mitsubishi Raider trucks. FCA US says the Mitsubishi Raider is included because it was built by FCA US for Mitsubishi due to an assembly contract in place at the time. All the trucks are equipped with manual transmissions.
FCA US says it's aware of one accident and fatality related to the defective clutch ignition interlock switch that can cause the truck to move just by turning the ignition. According to published reports, a child got behind the wheel of a Ram 3500 and turned the key. Even though the clutch pedal was not pushed, the truck lunged forward and hit and killed another child.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation in May 2014 after the death of the child, and a separate incident where a person was knocked to the ground by a truck.
The automaker says the defective switch was made with a spring wire that was different than used in previous switches. The defective switches were not used in any vehicles built before July 2005, or after June 2006. The truck is not supposed to start if the wire breaks, however, FCA US says it's possible to turn the ignition switch and cause the truck to move.
FCA US says about 54,558 of the recalled trucks are in the U.S.; 4,356 are in Canada; 7,648 are in Mexico and 257 are outside those regions.
The clutch ignition interlock switch recall is expected to begin February 13, 2015. FCA US is warning truck owners to start the trucks like this: Apply the parking brake, put the gear shifter in neutral and make sure the clutch pedal is pushed before turning the ignition switch.
If you're the owner of a 2006-2007 Dodge Dakota, Dodge Ram 1500, Ram 2500, Ram 3500 or Mitsubishi Raider and have questions, contact FCA US at 800-853-1403.
Just over a week ago, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the makers and suppliers of the clutch ignition interlock switch.
Read complaints about the trucks named in the clutch ignition interlock switch recall:
- Dodge Dakota - 2006 / 2007 / All Model Years
- Dodge Ram 1500 - 2006 / 2007 / All Model Years
- Dodge Ram 2500 - 2006 / 2007 / All Model Years
- Dodge Ram 3500 - 2006 / 2007 / All Model Years
- Mitsubishi Raider - 2006 / 2007