US safety agency probes older Ram pickups

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 23, 2014 at 10:23 am •  Published: May 23, 2014
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DETROIT (AP) — U.S. safety regulators are investigating whether older-model Ram pickup trucks with manual transmissions can be started without the clutch being depressed.

The probe covers about 110,000 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickups made by Chrysler from the 2004 through 2006 model years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in documents posted on its website Friday that it has three complaints about the problem, including one fatal accident. In that case, a child was able to start a truck without using the clutch. The truck moved forward, striking and killing another child, the safety agency said.

Vehicles with manual transmissions are required to have interlock mechanisms that stop the motor from being started unless the clutch is depressed.

"The clutch interlock safety switch had not been tampered with and was in its original condition," the truck owner wrote in the fatal accident complaint. "The switch has been tested and found to be defective."

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