The Weekly Driver

Website • Podcast • Newsletter
Established 2004

Wiggy wheels, faulty cameras give Ram pickup trucks troubles

The Ram 1500 is among many pickup trucks receiving poor grades by Consumer Reports.

Welcome to the world of recalls Stellantis! A few months into its tenure, the new owner of Fiat-Chrysler has made two dubious announcements.

First, the new owner of Ram announced the wheels of more than a half-million of its Ram pickup trucks can fall off. And now comes word, more than 140,000 Ram trucks have recalled because their backup cameras may stop working when the vehicle is in reverse.

The problematic wheels prompted the manufacturer to recall 510,000 Ram 3500 heavy-duty pickups and Ram 4500 and 5500 cab-chassis vehicles from 2012 to 2021 and mostly from North American have been recalled.

More than 500,000 Ram pickup trucks have been recalled because the wheels can fall off.
More than 500,000 Ram pickup trucks have been recalled because the wheels can fall off.

The trucks in question have dual rear wheels and flanged lug nuts.

Stellantis said some service and owner’s manuals had the wrong torque specifications for tightening the lug nuts that hold the wheels to the hubs. If the nuts were tightened too much, the wheel studs could be damaged and the wheels could come off.

Ram pickup trucks new woes

The manufacturer, which uses the slogan “Grab Life,” called the issue “wheel separation.”

The latter problem affects only trucks from the 2021 model year that are also equipped with a specific trailer reverse steering option.

The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is the most powerful half-ton pickup truck available.
The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX is the most powerful half-ton pickup truck available.

The fault is caused by a software problem involving the trailer reverse steering system, which helps drivers back up more easily when a trailer is attached. In addition to the backup camera not displaying an image, owners may notice a warning light for the vehicle’s electronic throttle control illuminated on the instrument panel behind the steering wheel.

“There is no component defect and torque applied during vehicle assembly is within specification, so the recall condition may only be present in vehicles that have been subject to wheel-removal as part of a service or upfit procedure,” according to a news release.

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

The recall affects trucks in the United States, Canada and Mexico, and an estimated 104 vehicles elsewhere.

The company, which plans to correct service and owner’s manuals and inspect and replace wheel studs as needed free of charge, said it would inform customers when service is available.

Ram dealers will also perform a software update to fix the backup camera, free of charge.

Stellantis informed its current roster in January from the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Peugeot maker PSA Group. It said it’s unaware of any related injuries or accidents. The company detailed the only affected vehicles would be those that have had wheels removed for service.


To get our weekly newsletter with automotive news and commentary delivered to your email inbox.