2005 Dodge Ram 3500

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation focusing on 110,000 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups from model years 2004 to 2006. One death has already been reported, according to NHTSA, due to a potential fault with the clutch interlocks on manual-transmission versions of the heavy duty pickup.

According to the report, these trucks can be started without depressing the clutch. There have been three reports so far, and as we mentioned above, one very sad incident seems to have resulted in the death of a child.

"One complaint involved an incident that occurred when a child was able to enter the vehicle and start the ignition without depressing the clutch. The vehicle then moved forward striking another child resulting in a fatality," NHTSA said in the investigation bulletin, which you can view below.

Another person was struck in a similar situation, although there were no injuries reported in that particular incident.

"In keeping with Chrysler Group's longstanding practice, the Company is cooperating fully with this investigation. Chrysler Group vehicles meet or exceed all applicable safety mandates. Customer safety is paramount at Chrysler Group," Chrysler spokesman Nick Cappa told Autoblog via email.

We'll stay with this story, should anything more come up. Scroll down for the official bulletin from NHTSA.
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Date Investigation Opened: MAY 19, 2014
Date Investigation Closed: Open
NHTSA Action Number: PE14013
Component(s): POWER TRAIN

Manufacturer: Chrysler Group LLC
SUMMARY:

ODI has received three vehicle owner complaints (VOQs) alleging incidents of engine crank or start when the clutch was not engaged due to clutch interlock switch failure. The complaints involved 1 model year (MY) 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 truck and 2 MY 2006 Dodge Ram 3500 trucks equipped with manual transmissions. One complaint (VOQ 10566076) involved an incident that occurred when a child was able to enter the vehicle and start the ignition without depressing the clutch. The vehicle then moved forward striking another child resulting in a fatality. A second complaint (10533996) described an incident that occurred when the engine was cranked without the clutch pedal depressed while an individual was standing directly in front of the vehicle performing work under the hood. The clutch interlock failed to prevent the engine from cranking, which resulted in vehicle movement into the pedestrian performing work under the hood. The individual was knocked to the ground, but did not report any injuries. A Preliminary Evaluation has been opened to asses the scope, frequency and safety-related consequences of the alleged defect. VOQs associated with the opening of this investigation are: 10585619, 10533073 and 10533996.