By Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer
DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler is recalling nearly 250,000 Ram pickups because a bad part in the steering system can cause drivers to lose control of the truck.
The Ram is Chrysler's top-selling vehicle. The recall covers 242,780 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups from the 2008 to 2011 model years.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Wednesday on its website that a part near the left front wheel can fracture, and potentially cause crashes.
The problem happens mainly at low speeds when drivers are making tight turns. Chrysler says drivers have reported a few minor crashes and one minor injury.
Affected models include 2008-2011 Ram 2500 and 3500 four-wheel-drive pickups and 2008-2011 Ram 3500 two-wheel-drive chassis cabs made from Feb. 14, 2008 through March 28, 2011.
Also affected are 2008 Ram 1500 mega cab four-wheel-drive models made from Feb. 14, 2008 through Aug. 15, 2008.
In addition, Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks made from the 2003 through 2008 model years also could be recalled if the same part was replaced by mechanics during regular service.Chrysler Group LLC sold more than 734,000 Ram pickups from 2008 through June of 2011, according to Autodata Corp. The 1500 is the standard Ram, while the 2500 and 3500 are models designed for heavier duties.
Chrysler dealers will inspect the trucks and replace the left outer tie rod and align the wheels for free if necessary.
The company has not determined yet when it will notify owners. Affected owners can contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403 or NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236.