Chrysler Recalls Ram Cargo Vans Due to Acceleration Issue
On Feb. 9, 2013, Chrysler recalled their new Ram ProMaster commercial van after it was found that the throttle could get stuck on the floor. The issue affects more than 9,600 ProMaster vans, the majority of which are in the United States.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, no accidents or injuries have been reported as a result of the issue. The recall was voluntary as the defect was discovered while Chrysler was testing the vehicle. Chrysler will notify owners and ProMaster dealers of the issue and the accelerator pedal stopper will be replaced free of charge.
Although similar to previous unintended acceleration manufacturing issues in other vehicles, Chrysler Ram ProMaster vans are equipped with a brake-throttle override system. In the event that the throttle is stuck, pushing on the brake pedal will slow the vehicle down and lead it to a complete stop.
Car & Driver magazine first discovered the design flaw while evaluating the vehicle for an upcoming issue. According to their test driver, the stuck throttle first appeared during routine acceleration tests which call for the pedal to be pushed firmly and rapidly to the floor. Further analysis revealed that even a simple side force, including one applied by hand, could cause the pedal to get stuck on a round plastic disc that served as a stopper on the carpeted floor. The test driver then examined two other vans and found that they also had the same problem.
Reported incidents like this date back to the late ‘80s when unintended acceleration in Audi 5000s led to more than 600 accidents, six of which were fatal. In 2009, Toyota also recalled several models due to an intended acceleration issue.