Because losing a wheel on the highway can be a traumatizing and dangerous experience for the driver and passengers of the affected vehicle, but also for other drivers nearby, technicians and DIY’ers must always torque their vehicle’s lug nuts to the manufacturers’ specifications which can be found in the vehicle’s owner’s manuals. And when you're driving a fully-loaded dually truck, making a safe stop after losing a wheel can be much more challenging than with a compact car.
Friday, Stellantis announced that it is voluntarily recalling 446,643 Ram trucks to correct their service and owner’s manuals, and inspect and replace their wheel studs because of faulty data in the manuals themselves.
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Let’s point out that there aren’t any defects to lug nuts, studs or other wheel-related components on these trucks. The problem lies in the owner’s manuals which contain incorrect lug nut torque instructions.
Essentially, the technician or owner of an affected vehicle could have over-torqued the lug nuts during the vehicle’s last tire swap or service, a condition that could compromise the wheel studs’ integrity and lead to a wheel falling off.
The recall only affects certain model years 2012-2021 Ram 3500 heavy-duty pickups, 4500 and 5500 cab-chassis vehicles and is limited to trucks that are equipped with dual rear wheels and flanged lug nuts.
The company states that the lug nuts were torque to the correct spec at the factory, so the recall doesn’t affect vehicles that haven’t been serviced yet. No accidents have been reported to this date.
Affected vehicle owners can book an appointment at their Ram dealership, where a technician will remove the wheels, inspect the studs for damage, replace them if necessary and re-torque to the correct specifications.
The recall affects an estimated 31,086 vehicles in Canada.