Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) said Tuesday that it may have to replace a costly driveline component on some 2018 and 2019 Ram 1500 pickup trucks.
About 4,200 Ram 1500s may have left the automaker's assembly plant with an insufficient amount of rear axle fluid. The automaker instructed its dealers to check fluid levels in the trucks' rear differential. If its dealers find an inadequate amount of axle fluid, the automaker will replace the entire rear axle assembly at no cost to truck owners.
"Very few vehicles are expected to require rear axle assembly replacement," FCA said in instructions it sent to its dealers.
FCA said that drivers may notice increased gear noise such as whining or growling from the rear differential if their vehicles are low on rear axle fluid.
Owners of recalled trucks will begin receiving notices from FCA on or around Oct. 12 instructing them to schedule an inspection at a Ram dealer. The automaker will provide owners of affected vehicles with a free loaner car while their trucks' axles are being replaced.
FCA said in government filings that it first became aware of the potential issue last month after reviewing 11 warranty claims from truck owners. The automaker estimated that about 1 percent of the 4,171 trucks it is recalling will need to have their axles replaced.