NZ swept up in worldwide Dodge RAM recall

2017 Dodge RAMs are exempt from the recall.
2017 Dodge RAMs are exempt from the recall. Photo credit: Getty

Car owners in New Zealand are likely to be caught up in a worldwide vehicle recall by Fiat Chrysler that comes after a fault was discovered in 1.8 million of its vehicles.

About 500 of the Dodge RAM trucks in question are believed to be registered in Australia and New Zealand.

Fiat Chrysler says the vehicles have a fault that means they can be shifted out of park without the driver's foot on the brake, or even without the key in the ignition.

The company says the issue is often caused by high temperatures in the interior of the vehicle, which can in turn cause the electrical problem that leads to the shifter moving out of park.

Fiat Chrysler says thus far it knows of seven injuries that may be linked to the fault, as well as a "small number" of other accidents.

Distributors in New Zealand are currently waiting for a vehicle identification number list.

Fiat Chrysler says its heavy-duty trucks make up the majority of the vehicles needing to be recalled, but maintains all its 2017 trucks are unaffected by the fault.

The company's head of safety compliance and product analysis, Tom McCarthy, says the fault will be fixed in all recalled vehicles, but advises caution before that happens.

"We urge customers to use their parking brakes, as recommended, and to ensure that child occupants are not left unattended."