Salty States Get a Ram 1500 Recall of Their Very Own

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Mankind’s greatest foe — road salt — can never be fully vanquished, and the latest evidence of its malevolence just cropped up in 20 northern states. Salt, though essential to human life, turns water brackish and wreaks havoc on vehicles — just ask the owners of previous-decade Toyota Tacomas, Nissan Frontiers, and Mazda 3s.

We can now add the 2009-2012 Ram 1500 pickup to the list of vehicles with salt-sullied undercarriages, though this issue, for which Fiat Chrysler is recalling 270,254 vehicles in the U.S., doesn’t result in the vehicle breaking in half (or, in the case of the Mazdas, disappearing into brown dust).

After an investigation, FCA determined corrosion of a bracket can cause the truck’s gas tank to sag. While this conjures up images of Rams dropping their fuel tanks on the road, or at least springing a significant leak, the automaker says it isn’t likely.

“FCA US testing indicates the remaining structural components would help prevent separation,” the automaker stated. To date, the automaker says it isn’t aware of any accidents, injuries, or fuel leaks stemming from the saggy tanks. All models sold from 2009 to 2012 feature tanks made from high-density polyethylene, it added.

Unlike other recalls, such as Ford’s free-floating steering wheels, this recall is only occurring “out of an abundance of caution,” FCA claims.

Included in the recall are Rams sold in 20 U.S. states with frequent bouts of wintry weather: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. In Canada, where not a single square inch of land is immune from frigid weather, some 26,676 Ram 1500s from the same model years have been called back for fuel tank bracket replacement.

The work is free of charge, and FCA encourages owners to take a peek under the rear bumper for obvious signs of bracket separation. If it lets go, the fuel tank strap will hang down very obviously. It might also look like your truck is pregnant.

By the sounds of it, Rams of that era didn’t boast the beefiest brackets. Here’s one complaint from 2013, concerning a 2009 model.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • JD-Shifty JD-Shifty on Mar 17, 2018

    Car and truck manufacturers should make rocker section, wheel arches and cab corners to actually drain or make them out of stainless steel. the cost would be worth it.

  • SnarkyRichard SnarkyRichard on Mar 18, 2018

    Years ago Rusty Jones or Ziebart rustproofing treatments were a big thing to get when buying a new vehicle with car dealers even offering it for a an extra charge . Since metal is supposedly treated better for rust at the factory those services have disappeared . There's only one Ziebart place I can find in northern NJ and it's at least 50 miles away from me and Rusty Jones went out of business in the late 1980s .

    • Mason Mason on Mar 18, 2018

      Not the case here at all. There are both handful of Ziebart and Krown dealers within a 75 mile radius, which says alot given my rural location. I also see many repair shops advertising Fluid Film application at a fairly reasonable price. One thing is for sure, if one does nothing here after 8-10 years the structural integrity of a vehicle is severely compromised regardless of badging.