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From Products Liability Law Daily, May 27, 2014

NHTSA investigates Ram pickups after child is struck and killed

By Joe Bichl

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened a preliminary evaluation of model year 2004-06 Dodge Ram 2500 and 3500 vehicles with manual transmissions after a child was struck and killed. The agency indicated it intends to investigate incidents of a malfunctioning clutch interlock switch that may allow the vehicle to be started while in gear (NHTSA ODI InvestigationNo. PE14013, May 27, 2014).

Consumer complaints. The ODI received three complaints, the most serious being a report of a child entering and starting a vehicle without depressing the clutch. The report stated that the vehicle moved forward and struck and killed another child. A second complaint involved an incident that occurred when the engine was started without the clutch pedal being depressed while an individual was standing directly in front of the vehicle performing work under the hood. The clutch interlock failed to prevent the engine from starting and moving forward, resulting in the individual being struck. According to the complaint, the individual was knocked to the ground, but did not report any injuries.

The investigation could affect as many as 110,000 vehicles. The investigation will “assess the scope, frequency and safety-related consequences of the alleged defect,” the agency report said.

Companies: Chrysler Group LLC

MainStory: TopStory MotorVehiclesNews MotorEquipmentNews

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