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US investigating power-assisted steering failure complaints in older Ram pickup trucks

by nytime
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DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto safety investigators have opened a probe into reports that some older Ram 1500 pickup trucks can lose power-steering assistance with little or no warning.

The investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration covers over 1.1 million pickups from the 2013 through 2016 model years.

The agency says it has 380 complaints about the problem that include three crashes but no injuries. Investigators say in documents posted Tuesday that if the power steering fails, it takes extra effort to steer the trucks and drivers could lose control.

Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler, recalled 440 pickups in 2016 to fix a power steering problem. But the agency says the complaints indicate a similar failure in trucks that are outside the scope of the recall.

The agency says the recall query will determine if enough vehicles were recalled or if another safety defect might be causing problems.

A message was left Tuesday seeking comment from Stellantis.

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