The U.S. Office of Defect Investigations (ODI), under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has initiated a preliminary evaluation into a critical component failure in Stellantis' (NYSE:STLA) 2022 RAM 3500, 4500, and 5500 trucks.

This move comes in response to an increasing number of complaints regarding the failure of the K1 snap ring, a vital part of the trucks' transmission system.

According to the NHTSA, there have been 82 reported instances where the alleged malfunction of the K1 snap ring led to a loss of motive power, signaling an internal transmission failure.

Among these reports, 16 highlight a complete loss of power at speeds exceeding 25 miles per hour, leaving the vehicles unable to return to normal operations.

The failure mode described entails the snap ring dislodging, rendering forward gears 1 to 4 inoperative and potentially causing the vehicle to become immobilized.

Stellantis' U.S. division, FCA, has acknowledged the issue and conducted preliminary tests to understand the failure mechanism better.

They have reported that should such a failure occur, the vehicle will issue a warning message to the driver. Additionally, it was noted that gear 5 and reverse should remain operational, offering a limited ability to maneuver the vehicle under certain conditions.

This ongoing investigation underscores the commitment of the NHTSA and ODI to ensuring vehicle safety and reliability, particularly concerning issues that could pose significant risks to drivers and passengers.