The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating Ram 2500 steering linkage problems after reports that drivers completely lost the ability to steer the trucks.
NHTSA says 2015-2016 Ram 2500 four-wheel-drive trucks may have trouble with the drag links.
According to NHTSA, the drag link is a steering linkage that connects the right front steering knuckle and the pitman arm on the steering box output shaft.
Two Ram 2500 drivers claim they lost the ability to steer the trucks, both times while the vehicles were in motion. In one case, the driver was traveling 65-70 mph on a highway when the steering linkage separated as the truck was going around a left turn.
The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has identified two complaints alleging the steering system failed on model year (MY) 2015 and 2016 Ram 2500s. Both vehicles were equipped with four wheel drive, and both failures occurred while the vehicle was in operation. The failures were allegedly due to the separation of the drag link, a steering linkage that connects between the right front steering knuckle and the pitman arm on the steering box output shaft. The separation occurred at a threaded coupler within the drag link intended to be used for adjusting the length of the linkage during maintenance (alignment) of the steering system. Once separation occurs, turning the steering wheel has no effect, and there is no way for the driver to control or maintain the direction of the vehicle.
In one report, the complainant alleges the linkage separated while the vehicle was negotiating a left hand curve on a highway traveling at a speed of 65 to 70 MPH. As a result the vehicle departed the right side of the roadway and was brought to a stop in an unimproved shoulder area. An injury is alleged due to the vehicle encountering rough surfaces (ditches) on the shoulder. The second report involved a separation that, based on complainant interview occurred while the vehicle was being driven (reversed) out of a parking space. The drag link and coupler assembly had to be replaced to repair both vehicles.
About 200,000 model year 2015-2016 Ram 2500 four-wheel-drive trucks are the focus of the investigation.