Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling about 67,000 manual-transmission Dodge Dakota, Ram and Mitsubishi Raider pickup trucks from 2006 and 2007 model-years because they might start without the clutch being depressed.
The company said one death has been associated with the problem.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into the trucks in May after receiving a report of a child starting a 2006 Dodge Ram 3500 pickup without using the clutch. The truck moved forward, striking and killing another child, the safety agency said.
An investigation by FCA engineers discovered switches in certain model-year 2006 and 2007 pickups may be equipped with spring wire that differs from wire used in previous switches. The alternate wire may break, preventing the vehicles from starting. In rare cases, a vehicle may — if recommended starting procedures are not followed — exhibit unintended movement when its ignition key is turned.
Switches with the alternate wire were not used in any vehicles produced before July 2005 or after June 2006. The Dakota and Raider are no longer in production. Chrysler built the Raider under a contract with Mitsubishi.
An estimated 54,558 vehicles are in the U.S.; 4,356 are in Canada; 7,648 are in Mexico; and 257 are outside the North America Free Trade Agreement region.
FCA will begin notifying owners of the recalled trucks on Feb. 13. Until then, the company advises customers to follow recommended procedures for starting their vehicles. These procedures include activating the vehicle’s parking brake, placing its shift lever in the neutral position and pressing the clutch pedal before turning the ignition key.
Customers with additional concerns or questions may call 800-853-1403.