Stellantis (FCA US, LLC) is recalling certain 2019 to 2020 Ram 3500, 4500, and 5500 Cab Chassis vehicles equipped with the 6.7-liter Cummins inline-six H.O. turbodiesel engine. According to the recall notice, the engine calibration software may not warn about low oil volume.
The suspect period began between November 28th, 2018 (Ram 4500/5500 known as DP) and November 29th, 2018 (Ram 3500 known as DD) when the 6.7-liter Cummins H.O. turbodiesel engines with an inadequate oil life monitoring strategy were introduced in vehicle production and continued into production until July 25th, 2020. FCA US believes that 32,002 Chassis Cab units (8,724 – Ram 3500, 23,278 – Ram 4500/5500) are affected. The suspect population was determined using engine manufacturing, and vehicle production records.
An oil life monitor strategy that does not provide adequate warning of oil consumption may allow engine oil volume to fall below an acceptable level. Low oil volume in the engine can cause a lack of oil film on the main bearings, deteriorating the bearing which can result in engine damage and may puncture the engine block.
A punctured engine block may lead to a vehicle fire which increases the risk of injury to occupants and persons outside the vehicle, as well as property damage. The operator may notice abnormal engine noise immediately after a connecting rod failure before a fire can occur.
- On March 10th, 2021, Stellantis (“FCA US”) Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance (“VSRC”) opened an
investigation into Ram 3500, 4500, and 5500 Cab Chassis vehicles because of the reported engine compartment fires, which were determined to be caused by oil leaks initiated by connecting rod failures.
- In March 2021, FCA US examined photographic evidence, witness statements, and vehicle history data related
to the field inputs with the supplier to determine potential causes of the engine failures.
- From March 2021, through May 2021, FCA US and the supplier reviewed returned engines, engineering
changes to engines built during the period, and conducted oil consumption testing on a group of engines in the lab and in the field. The result of this activity was that the oil life indicator strategy was determined to be
insufficient to adequately notify the customer of oil consumption levels.
- As of June 3rd, 2021, FCA US is aware of four customer assistance records, 56 warranty claims, and 56 field
reports potentially related to this issue with dates of receipt ranging from August 27th, 2019 to March 29th, 2021.
- As of June 3rd, 2021, FCA US is aware of zero accidents and zero injuries potentially related to this issue.
- On June 3rd, 2021, FCA US determined, through the Vehicle Regulations Committee, to conduct a voluntary
safety recall of the affected vehicles.
FCA US will conduct a voluntary safety recall on all affected vehicles to flash the engine calibration software to include enhanced oil life monitoring.
FCA US has a longstanding policy and practice of reimbursing owners who have incurred the cost of repairing a problem that subsequently becomes the subject of field action. To ensure consistency, FCA US, as part of the owner letter, will request that customers send the original receipt and/or other adequate proof of payment to the company for confirmation of the expense.
The new engine calibration includes oil life monitoring based on fuel consumption in addition to mileage and/or hours in service and will notify the customer when applicable.
Recall notices to the owners began being sent on June 25th, 2021.
FCA US has issued the recall code Y21 for this recall. Customers are encouraged to call the FCA US Recall Assistance Center at 1-800-853-1403 for any questions. There an agent can confirm if there are any recall repairs that must be performed on your vehicle.