The issue on both trucks is that the pinion nut is loosening on some trucks due to a lack of thread adhesive, and it is causing the rear axle to lock up resulting in loss of vehicle control. NHTSA's recall notice says that eight incidents occurred at speeds over 35 miles per hour and most also exhibited driveshaft failures as well since the loss of the pinion nut would cause the gear to separate from the driveshaft. In one complaint, the driveshaft separated from the rear axle and punctured the gas tank.
Chrysler will begin sending out recall notices to affected owners in November, but scroll down to see the official NHTSA notice.
DODGE / DAKOTA 2009-2010
DODGE / RAM 1500 2009-2010
Manufacturer: CHRYSLER GROUP LLC
Report Receipt Date: SEP 28, 2012
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V474000
NHTSA Action Number: PE12021
Component: POWER TRAIN:DRIVELINE:DIFFERENTIAL UNIT
Potential Number of Units Affected: 44,300
Chrysler is recalling certain model year 2009-2010, Ram 1500 and Dodge Dakota trucks, manufactured from July 1, 2009, through November 30, 2009, because a rear axle pinion nut may loosen due to a lack of adhesive.
If the rear axle pinion nut loosens, the axle can lock up and cause a loss of vehicle control and/or a vehicle crash with little warning.
Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will install a pinion nut retainer, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in November 2012. Owners may contact Chrysler at 1-800-247-9753.
Chrysler's recall campaign number is M34. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.