Gearhead News

May 29, 2021
510,000 Ram Pickups Recalled for 'Wheel Separation' Concerns Due to Bad Owner's Manual Instructions

Typically, the best thing to do is to read your owner’s manual from cover to cover when you get a new (or new to you) vehicle. Many people don’t, however, consulting it only when there’s an issue. In fact, Ford decided to do away with paper manuals altogether for its popular pickup, going with a digital version available via the F-150’s touch screen infotainment system. That move suits the digital generation perfectly, and also saves the company tons of money in paper costs. 

Neglecting to read the instructions may have been the best choice as it relates to Ram heavy-duty trucks from model years 2012-2021, however; the owner’s manual for those years includes faulty lug-nut torque instructions.

Stellantis

As a result of following the manual’s directions, “the corresponding vehicles may have had their lug nuts over-torqued, a condition that could conceivably compromise studs and lead to wheel separation,” Stellantis said in a news release yesterday. That could be troublesome as you’re rolling down the highway with or without a sizable payload.

About a half-million of Ram’s trucks have been recalled, including 2012-2021 Ram 3500 heavy-duty pickups and 4500 and 5500 cab-chassis trucks. The issue mainly affects U.S.-market trucks, plus roughly 31,000 in Canada and 32,000 or so in Mexico.

If you have a brand-new vehicle that hasn’t experienced service that requires wheel removal, have no fear: the lug nuts were torqued correctly during assembly. All you need is the updated manual. 

Stellantis

“Dealers are currently in possession of correct service instructions, and production vehicles are now being delivered with updated owner’s manuals,” the news release continues. “The campaign is limited to vehicles equipped with dual rear wheels and flanged lug nuts.”

Pickups and trucks in this category that have been over-torqued by following the instructions in the manual may still be fine, but the company is recalling them to inspect the wheel studs. If they need to be replaced, Ram will do so free of charge.

As of today, no related injuries or crashes have been reported. If you need more information, call (800) 853-1403.

Got a tip? Send the writer a note: kristin.shaw@thedrive.com