Chrysler announced a recall today for approximately 278,222 trucks and SUVs over an issue with the rear-axle differential.
The recall affects model year 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durangos, 2009 through 2011 Dodge Dakotas, and 2009 through 2012 Dodge Ram 1500s.
The problem is a rear-axle pinion that may loosen due to an undersized pinion spline. If it works itself loose, the rear axle can lock up, increasing the risk of a crash, especially if the vehicle is in motion.
According to complaints logged by NHTSA, the wheel lockup occurred at varied speeds on the Ram 1500, with eight of the complaints claiming it happened at over 35 mph. Four of these eight resulted in complete loss of vehicle control, and one resulted in a collision.
Chrysler will contact affected owners and replace the pinion nut retainer, free of charge. The recall will begin in March 2013. Affected owners may contact Chrysler at 1-800-247-9753.