Recalls are basically a dime a dozen in the automotive world, all the more so now that technologies found in today’s vehicles are more numerous and more complex.
Some recalls can affect thousands of units of a model, or even several models. Others are limited to a few hundred vehicles. But here’s one we don’t see very often, and try not to laugh out of respect for the people impacted by it. Or rather, we should say person. Because according to Allpar.com, a website that covers all news related to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, FCA is issuing a recall of one Ram truck. Literally, one single Ram truck.
The truck in question is a 1500 model that, during assembly at the plant, received an instrument cluster that had been flagged as defective in the pre-production phase. All clusters similarly identified in that early stage had been removed from the assembly process, except for one. Hence the recall of one particular unit.
FCA knows the identity of the unlucky owner and will be contacting the person to have the instrument cluster replaced, without charge of course.
This is funny enough on the face of it, but gets downright Monty Python-esque when you consider the sheer, unstoppable red-tape-bureaucracy-ness of it all.
The recall procedure at FCA stipulates that the recall campaign must begin officially on September 13. A simple phone call to the owner would surely have done the trick, but it could not be resolved that way, said the rules. Worse, the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) documentation for the recall includes a host of notifications, right down to the memo that has to be sent to dealerships explaining how to resolve the issue. An issue that affects a single solitary vehicle!
To top it all off, the recall identifies certain 2018 and 2019 Ram 1500 models in Mexico... for a recall affecting one single vehicle.
The only way you could possibly explain this surreal bit of red tape run amuck is if FCA anticipates that there may eventually be another, or several other models that have the same issue…