Drive Type: RWD
Columbia Station, Ohio, United States
Chrysler has announced that it will issue three separate recalls that will cover as many as 1.2 million Ram pickup trucks for "steering-system tie rods that may have been misaligned during assembly or steering-system service." The vast majority of these trucks were sold in the United States, though some trucks in Mexico, Canada or overseas will be called in, as well.
The largest of the three recalls covers an estimated 842,400 model-year 2003-2008 Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks. Two smaller campaigns will bring 294,000 model-year 2008-2012 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups, chassis cabs and 2008 Ram 1500 4x4 Mega Cabs; plus 43,500 model-year 2008-2012 Ram 4500 and 5500 4x4 chassis cabs into the dealer to be checked and repaired if necessary.
This is a very large recall, and Chrysler says it is "casting the net wider than necessary to identify those vehicles that require repair." The automaker estimates that "as many as 726,000 may not need repair."
Other than the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Mount Rushmore, South Dakota isn't generally a hot topic, but that just means that cool stuff can hide in the open waiting to be discovered. Case in point: the classic car dealer Frankman Motor Company that operates three locations in Sioux Falls, SD.
Unearthed by the folks at Bring a Trailer, Frankman is a treasure trove of vintage, American iron. Their collection is full of the type of vehicles your irresponsible but cool uncle would show up with when you were a kid. Even better, these cars are priced at a level a working man can afford.
If you are lusting about a cruiser then Frankman has a 1956 Cadillac Deville Hard Top Sedan (pictured right) with 82,896 miles for $12,975. It's painted a color called Cascade Grey, but looks more like a pastel purple in pictures. While it needs some repairs to the accessories, the Caddy runs and drives, which is all you really need.
Striving for improved fuel economy, we already knew that Chrysler will begin using a nine-speed automatic transmission in some of its new products this year, but what we haven't known is that volume at which this gearbox will be used. According to Bloomberg, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has been quoted as saying that the automaker expects to sell close to 200,000 units equipped with this new transmission in 2013. Those gear-rich trannies will be spread out across three models, consisting of the redesigned Chrysler 200, the still-unnamed Jeep Liberty replacement and the Dodge Dart.
This transmission should play a pivotal role in making Chrysler vehicles more competitive in their respective segments. Just for comparison, one of the Dart's key competitors, the Toyota Corolla, still uses a four-speed automatic, and a previous report indicates that the next-generation 200 could get up to 38 miles per gallon on the highway, which is better than most non-hybrid midsize sedans on the market. Marchionne says that the new Jeep model is expected during the second quarter of this year, but there is no word as to when the new 200 or nine-speed Dart will debut, but clearly Dodge would like to have the transmission in its compact yesterday. As for that volume figure, it definitely doesn't seem out of reach since the Dart, Liberty and 200 combined for a total of more than 225,000 units in 2012.
How many more gears can we expect in future cars? Probably not many more, since the CEO of transmission-builder ZF, Stefan Sommer, previously stated that nine speeds was the "natural limit" for transmissions.