Feds Probe 2004-'06 Dodge Ram 2500, 3500 for Clutch Interlock Switch Malfunction | Edmunds

Feds Probe 2004-'06 Dodge Ram 2500, 3500 for Clutch Interlock Switch Malfunction


Just the Facts:
  • NHTSA has opened an investigation into an estimated 110,000 2004-'06 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks with manual transmissions because they may have defective interlocks to prevent a child from starting the vehicle.
  • "One complaint involved an incident that occurred when a child was able to enter the vehicle and start the ignition without depressing the clutch," said NHTSA in its summary of the probe. "The vehicle then moved forward, striking another child, resulting in a fatality."
  • Chrysler told Edmunds on Friday it is "cooperating fully with this investigation."

WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into an estimated 110,000 2004-'06 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks with manual transmissions because they may have defective interlocks to prevent a child from starting the vehicle.

Federal safety regulators said they have received three reports that the trucks could be started even if the driver's foot was not on the clutch.

"One complaint involved an incident that occurred when a child was able to enter the vehicle and start the ignition without depressing the clutch," said NHTSA in its summary of the probe. "The vehicle then moved forward, striking another child, resulting in a fatality."

A second complaint described an incident that occurred when the engine was cranked without the clutch pedal depressed while an individual was standing directly in front of the vehicle performing work under the hood.

"The clutch interlock failed to prevent the engine from cranking, which resulted in vehicle movement into the pedestrian performing work under the hood," NHTSA said. "The individual was knocked to the ground, but did not report any injuries."

Chrysler told Edmunds on Friday it is "cooperating fully with this investigation."

NHTSA has opened a "preliminary evaluation" to assess the scope, frequency and safety-related consequences of the alleged defect.

The 2004-'06 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks have not been recalled at this point.

Edmunds says: Owners of these trucks will have to wait for federal safety regulators to finish their work. We will update information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have a problem with the aforementioned truck, take it into your local dealer.

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