There's no recall for these vehicles yet.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (U.S. body, no word on Canada yet) is beginning a preliminary evaluation into roll-away complaints for one million 2014-2016 Dodge Durango and 2013-2017 Ram 1500 pickup. This is the agency’s first step in deciding whether a recall is necessary for repairing this issue, and the process investigates “the scope, frequency, and safety-related consequences” of the problem.
These models use a rotary controller for selecting a gear for the automatic transmission. “The reports alleged that the unintended motion occurred after the driver moved the transmission gear selector to Park and exited the vehicle,” according to the agency’s description of the problem.
NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation has found 43 complaints of the vehicles allegedly rolling away while in Park. In 34 cases, people said they actually saw the shifter in the Park position. In addition, the researchers have identified 25 incidents with crashes or fires and 9 injuries. There are no known fatalities at this time.
None of the reports mentioned whether the parking brake was in use when the vehicle rolled away. NHTSA is advising drivers to use it as a way to potentially mitigate the danger of a roll-away.
These rotary gearshifts in these models are different from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ previously recalled monostable shifter, according to Reuters. This campaign covered 1.1 million units of the 2012-2014 Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300, and 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, plus separately for 13,092 American examples of the 2014 Maserati Quattroporte and Ghibli. However, the alleged problems with them are similar. Drivers were reportedly confused by the gearshift that automatically returned to the centre position after switching gears. People incorrectly thought the vehicle was in Park, and it started to roll away when they stepped out. An investigation found at least 41 injuries from the issue. In that case FCA had to change the software so that there were more warnings, and the model didn’t move in some cases even if the driver didn’t select Park.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Reuters