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Auto blogTue, 24 Dec 2013 10:00:00 EST
What do the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Ram 1500 all have in common? Yes, they're all Chrysler products, and two of them are based on the same platform. And we're sure you could find more similarities between them all, but the common trait we're looking at here is that, while they all come standard in rear-drive form, they're also available with all-wheel drive. And it's the transmission in those models that's the subject of the latest recall notice issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The output shaft on the eight-speed automatic transmission supplied by ZF to Chrysler for the AWD versions of the 300, Charger and Ram 1500 is apparently prone to fracture. That in the end could leave the vehicle without power and could, according to the NHTSA investigation, increase the chance of a crash. The vehicle could also roll away if even if left in Park without the handbrake applied.
That's why Chrysler is calling in 4,194 examples of those three models from the 2013 model year. Dealers will be responsible for inspecting the transmissions and, where necessary, replace the entire unit. See the full recall notice below for all the details.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that it's looking into Chrysler Group's handling of a pair of recalls affecting roughly one million Ram pickup trucks. Reuters is reporting that the regulatory agency is focusing on the availability (or lack thereof) of parts and "poor communications" from the automaker in its investigation.
"Customers have been advised in accordance with the regulations governing recalls," Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne told Reuters via email. "We are continually replenishing our supply of replacement parts. Chrysler Group regrets any inconvenience our customers may have experienced."
NHTSA disagrees, arguing that the recalls, which affect 972,000 trucks from 2003 to 2012, are being delayed by the lack of parts.
Auto enthusiasts love a good debate, whether it's Mustang versus Camaro or Ferrari against Lamborghini. But how about a battle between two very different vintages of classic pickup trucks? In this case, the fight is between a 1979 Dodge Li'l Red Express and a 1933 Ford Model 46 truck with a flathead V8.
The shootout comes courtesy of the internet series Generation Gap, and its concept is super-simple. One guy prefers classics, and the other likes newer rides. They choose a category, pick two vehicles and put them head to head. In this case, neither is exactly modern, though. The Ford is more than old enough to receive Social Security checks, and the Dodge is hardly a young whippersnapper.
Other than both being pickups, these two models were made to serve very different functions. The Li'l Red Express was basically the progenitor of today's muscle trucks, with a big V8 that made it one of the quickest new models in its day (admittedly, 1979 was a rough time for automotive performance). On the other hand, the '33 Ford was just meant to work, with little pretense for anything else. One of the hosts describes it as "the simplest, most difficult" vehicle he's driven because of the tricky double clutchwork necessary to shift gears. Scroll down to watch the video and try to decide which of these two American classics you would rather have in your garage.