By on October 26, 2021

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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18 Comments on “Heavy Duty Recall: Ram Rescinding 131,000 Pickups Over Fire Risk...”


  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    Don’t Dodge it, Ram it….. or burn it.

  • avatar
    Margarets Dad

    Huh … I thought only EVs caught fire…. LOL ….

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      OTOH, it probably doesn’t take 50,000 gallons of water, and several hours, to extinguish.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @dukeisduke: “it probably doesn’t take 50,000 gallons of water, and several hours, to extinguish.”

        What, you think it takes like 10 gallons to put out an ICE fire? If it happens in a wooded area there will still be embers to put out over several hours. The Houston Tesla crash was between 25,000 to 30,000 – not 50k, and took several hours because it was in a wooded area. Haven’t you ever seen a news report of the next morning after a fire with the firefighters still hosing down embers in a house or building?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “uh … I thought only EVs caught fire…. LOL ….”

      Addendum:

      and Fords.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        I used to work at Progressive and I only remember 2 fire related safety bulletins for field adjusters: the battery packs on prius(es? i?) when involved in severe rear end collisions and precautions for welding magnesium radiator supports in ford trucks.

        So my 15 year old anecdote supports that.

        I wonder what’s going on with these (topic article)- is this to make it act more like a ‘normal’ truck without having to wait for glo plugs and such? The fuel pump makes sense, and I’m pretty sure all of the HO diesels have had a similar fuel pump issue because of the torque wars.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I eagerly await all the comments as to why this shows that heavy-duty diesel pickups are doomed and should all be scrapped.

    Oh, wait, that only happens with EVs?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @dal: I guess diesel is a technology that’s not ready for primetime yet. They’d tell the owners not to park them in a garage except I’m not sure one would actually fit in a garage. Maybe they’re going to have to buy them all back?

      • 0 avatar
        SPPPP

        Well, it was an electrical relay that started the fire. Obviously, all those electrical parts are in cahoots, don’t you know?

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        “They’d tell the owners not to park them in a garage except I’m not sure one would actually fit in a garage.”

        My 1998 Ford Ranger had a recall to prevent electrical fires. And, yes, the advised us not to park them in garages until the recall was completed.

        The solution was splicing a fuse into the wiring harness under the hood.

        I’ve seen probably a dozen vehicle fires beside highways during my time driving, some of them were extinguished by the time I got there, some were not. One of them was so hot I could feel the heat through my closed windows as I drive by.

        A physicist might observe that when you concentrate a bunch of energy in one place, there’s a risk of letting it out all at once. The main difference is that the rules for avoiding gasoline fires and expulsions are more familiar to most people.

  • avatar

    Tesla…three, two, one, start!

  • avatar
    Gabe Ets-Hokin

    See how dangerous these EVs are! Always catching fire! Damn hippies trying to jam them down our throats.

  • avatar
    96redse5sp

    Maybe Stellantis should send their engineers to re-education camps.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Rams are literally the hottest trucks on the market.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    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.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      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.

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