Heavy Duty Recall: Ram Rescinding 131,000 Pickups Over Fire Risk

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
heavy duty recall ram rescinding 131 000 pickups over fire risk

Ram has been subjected to numerous investigations over the last few years, especially in regard to its heavy-duty diesel pickups. We can throw another item onto the list, as the manufacturer has opted to recall 131,177 HD trucks from the 2021 and 2022 model year.

While we recently covered an investigation launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to assess whether reports citing that late-model HD pickups using the 6.7-liter Cummins turbo diesel had motive issues, the current recall appears unrelated. The former investigation is centered around slightly older trucks and a loss of motive power presumed to be the result of defective fuel pumps that could warrant a recall. This issue is a full-blown recall surrounding a potential fire risk originating from an issue with the solid-state heater intake grid relay.

But it’s still another smudge on the record of Cummins-equipped Rams, with the company acknowledging at least 10 fires stemming from the issue.

Sadly, Stellantis doesn’t have a solution. Everyone’s best guess is that the unit is subject to shorting out in a manner that’s agreeable to engine fires. But Ram is currently working with the supplier to identify what exactly is going on with the electrical equipment and how it can be remedied.

Affected vehicles include select Ram 2500, 3500, 4500, and 5500 HD pickups utilizing the 6.7-liter diesel from Cummins — all from the 2021 and 2022 model years. Stellantis said it would be notifying dealers and owners starting December 3rd. Though we have no way of knowing whether or not an effective solution will have been introduced by then.

Those curious to learn whether their truck might be affected should contact the Stellantis customer service line at 1-800-853-1403. The automaker’s internal code for the recall is Y76 and you’ll need it to speed up the process. One could also visit the NHTSA website, call its Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236, or text the recall campaign number to 1-800-424-9153. The NHTSA recall code is 21V798 but you can also use your Vehicle Identification Number.

[Image: Stellantis]

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  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Oct 27, 2021

    At first, I thought, "What is a heater intake grid relay?" Turns out it's an "intake heater grid relay", which sends power to an engine intake heater, used to warm the incoming air on cold starts in cold weather: https://tfltruck.com/2021/10/ram-recall-intake-heater-relay-fire-risk-news/ Can you fix the wording, Matt? If you don't live in a cold climate and don't need the intake heater, you might be able to unplug the relay temporarily.

  • Bullnuke Bullnuke on Oct 27, 2021

    From the commentary on fires resulting from liquid fuels vs electrical fires it is fairly obvious that many folks on both sides of the argument do not understand nor have they personally had experience with fighting fires from either or both. I have and I personally know that the energy release from an electrical source that cannot be de-energized (such as a battery) that causes ignition of surrounding materials is much, much more dangerous and requires more than just removal of one leg of the "fire triangle" to mitigate. The first thing a fire department does in a house fire is pull the electric meter to de-energize the electricity to the dwelling to avoid the continued source of energy to the fire. Cooling and/or oxygen deprivation using water, Halon, CO2, foam, etc. that work with Class "B" liquid fuels or Class "A" fires will not be effective if energy is continued to be supplied by electrical sources. "Whatabouting" gasoline/diesel vehicle fires in comparison to EV fires is a frivolous exercise.

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Oct 27, 2021

      During a lightning storm some years ago, the telephone pole at the top of my driveway and its surrounding tree branches caught on fire (in the rain), while the transformer sizzled. The fire department arrived quickly, but said they wouldn't touch it until the power company shut it off. That took a while, but I came to appreciate how little interest firefighters have in fighting a fire with an unlimited energy source.

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?
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