DETROIT May 23 U.S. safety regulators have
opened a probe into an estimated 110,000 heavy-duty Chrysler
Group Ram pickup trucks with manual transmissions after reports
that the vehicle had started when the clutch was not engaged.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has
opened a preliminary evaluation into Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500
pickups from model years 2004 through 2006 after receiving three
complaints, including one involving a death, according to
documents filed online. The problem was described as a possible
failure of the clutch interlock switch.
A spokesman for Chrysler, a unit of Fiat Chrysler
Automobiles, said the company was cooperating with the
A preliminary investigation is the first step in a process
that could lead to a recall if regulators determine that a
manufacturer needs to address a safety issue.
In one incident, a young child was able to enter the vehicle
and start the ignition without the clutch depressed, according
to the NHTSA filing. The vehicle then moved forward and struck
and killed another child, the filing said.
In another case, a man working under the vehicle's hood was
knocked to the ground but not injured when the problem occurred,
according to the NHTSA filing.
(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)