Fiat Chrysler has issued a recall for 1.8 million RAM pickup trucks due to malfunctioning shifters.
The defect allows drivers to shift out of park without releasing the brake pedal, causing it to roll.
In more technical terms, the brake-transmission shift underlock becomes disabled when the brake pedal is pressed for an extended period while in park mode. This action generates heat near the gearshift, which can affect the shift interlock's operation. This reaction causes the truck to roll away unintentionally.
So far, seven injuries and an unspecified number of crashes may have been attributed as a result.
At the moment, Fiat Chrysler is working on a fix. In the interim, Ford is asking drivers to apply the parking brake in what appears to be the only fail-proof method.
"We urge customers to use their parking brakes, as recommended, and to ensure that child occupants are not left unattended until the remedy is available and installed, said Tom McCarthy, head of safety compliance and product analysis, in a statement.
Affected models include several variations of the 2010 to 2017 1500, 2500, 3500, 4500 and 5500 RAM pickups, excluding any 2017 RAM built after Dec. 31, 2016. Regarding geographic distribution, 1.48 affected vehicles are in the United States with 290,000 trucks in Canada/Mexico, and a far lesser amount in smaller markets.
If you have any questions about the recall, Fiat Chrysler has asked consumers to call (866)-220-6747.