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Nearly 300,000 Chrysler vehicles targeted by recall

A problem with a rear axle component that could cause a loss of control is forcing Chrysler to recall a wide array of vehicles including its full-size and midsize pickups and several SUV models.

In all, a total of 278,222 Ram 1500 pickups from the 2009 through 2012 model-years are covered by the service action, along with 2009 to 2011 Dodge Dakota pickups and 2009 Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango SUVs.

In a separate announcement, Chrysler also says it will recall 4,278 Dodge Viper sports cars from the 2003 and 2004 model-years. That service action is the result of a circuit board problem that could prevent the vehicle’s airbag from properly inflating. A similar problem already forced the recall of older Jeep Liberty and Jeep Grand Cherokee models.

The truck recall is the result of a missing adhesive patch that could cause the rear axle pinion to come loose. If that were to occur the axle would lock up “and cause a loss of vehicle control with little warning, increasing the likelihood of a crash,” the maker warned, stressing the problem is serious enough it should not be ignored by owners.

Dealers will make the appropriate repairs with both vehicles and affected owners will be notified directly in the weeks ahead. Customer can call Chrysler at 1-800-247-9753 for more information.

The recall of the Ram pickup does not involve the all-new model that debuted late last year – but it does come as a bit of a disappointment for the maker, which has been trying to improve its reputation for quality and reliability. In fact, the Ram brand made the most significant gain of any brand in the latest J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Survey, which was released earlier this week.

The 2013 Dodge Ram was named North American Truck of the Year during a ceremony at the Detroit Auto Show last month. It was also named Motor Trend Truck of the Year.

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