And there are have been seven injuries related to this defect.
This may sound familiar to some, only the last time it (kind of) afflicted the Jeep Grand Cherokee. This time it’s the Ram pickup truck, more specifically 1.8 million of them. Automotive News reports that FCA has officially announced a recall for those trucks located in North America, ranging from the 2009 to 2017 model years, whose shifters are located on the steering column. To be clear, this recall does not affect trucks with floor-mounted shifters or with rotary dials, nor to any trucks built after December 31, 2016.
The recall will fix a function that prevents occupants from inadvertently moving the shifter out of the “park” position. And yes, this can be a serious issue if not repaired. FCA claims it’s aware of “seven potentially related injuries and a small number of potentially related accidents.” The Jeep Grand Cherokee, if you recall, suffered from an issue where its central column-mounted shifter could mistakenly be left in ‘Neutral’ when drivers believed it was in ‘Park.’ For the Ram trucks, "An FCA US review of field data led to the discovery that Brake Transmission Shift Interlock (BTSI) may not function properly if subject to specific high-temperature conditions for prolonged periods," FCA said in a statement.
The conditions are consistent with those that occur when there is protracted brake-pedal application while a vehicle is idling in park. If BTSI becomes disabled, a vehicle’s shifter may be moved out of park without brake-pedal application, or the presence of a key in the ignition. In such circumstances, a vehicle may exhibit inadvertent movement - if its parking brake has not been set." The fix will involve FCA restoring the BTSI function. Until then, owners are encouraged to use their parking brakes and to make sure children are not left unattended when inside the trucks.