Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE: FCAU) is recalling 222,207 Ram ProMaster delivery vans with 3.6-liter engines because the transmission shifter cable may separate and disconnect from the transmission, leading to a crash.
The ProMaster is widely used in last-mile delivery service. Customers include the U.S. Postal Service, which purchased about 12,000 of them in 2016.
Fiat-Chrysler told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it is unaware of any crashes or injuries and has no field reports of issues related to the condition. It has received 545 warranty claims.
The recalled vans with 3.6-liter transmissions were built in Saltillo, Mexico, between April 23, 2013, and Sept. 14, 2019. Similar 2014-2019 model year Ram ProMasters with other engines or those built after revision of a manufacturing process in September are not included in the recall. About 3% of the recalled vehicles are expected to have the condition.
If the transmission shifter becomes disconnected from the transmission, the vehicle may not shift as the driver intends, including into park, even though the actual transmission gear position will be displayed on the instrument cluster.
Warning messages will display on the instrument cluster and audible chimes will sound if the driver's door is opened while the transmission is not in park. If the warnings are ignored, the vehicle could move unintentionally and cause a crash or injury to people outside the vehicle.
There is no warning of the transmission shifter cable disconnection from the transmission. After the cable detaches, the driver may notice that it takes significantly less effort to move the shift lever.
Fiat-Chrysler began investigating the issue, which was traced to an assembly issue, in May 2019. Ram dealers will replace the shifter cable at no charge. Customers who paid for the repair will be reimbursed.
The NHTSA recall number is 20V-036. Customers and dealers will be informed of the recall on March 13, Fiat-Chrysler said.