Drive Type: RWD
Columbia Station, Ohio, United States
It's fascinating the way that one change to a complex system can have all sorts of unintended consequences. For instance, there are hundreds of new Chrysler Town and County and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans built in Windsor, Ontario, sitting in lots on the Detroit waterfront because of the energy boom in the Bakken oil field in the northern US and parts of Canada.
The huge amount of crude oil coming from these sites mostly use freight trains for transport, and that supply boom has resulted in a shortage of railcars to carry other goods. According to The Windsor Star, North American crude oil transport by train has gone from 9,500 carloads in 2008 to 434,032 carloads in 2013. Making matters worse, some North American rail infrastructure is still damaged because of this year's harsh winter, and that's slowing things down even further.
Chrysler admits to The Star that it has had some delivery delays due to the freight train shortage. In the meantime, it's using more trucks to deliver its vehicles. Trucking is a far less economical solution, partially because a train can carry so many more units at one time, but alternatives are slim. The Windsor plant alone has a deal for 33 trucks to distribute the minivans around Canada and the Midwestern US.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and its Ram brand following a number of reports regarding the 2005 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup. According to 15 consumer complaints, the trucks' rear differential locked up while in other cases, the driveshaft separated at its connection to the diff.
Nearly half of the reports claim the truck was traveling at or above 50 miles per hour, while two consumers reported that the diff lockup/driveshaft separation sent their pickups into a spin. Most troubling, though, is that consumers reported little to no sound indicating there was a problem with their truck.
We reached out to Ram for additional information, such as how many vehicles may be affected or what equipment might be fitted that could cause the issue. Unfortunately, the company wasn't willing to elaborate on specifics.
You ever hear a story and start cringing before you hear the end because you know how it's going to turn out? That could very well have been the case with the story from a few weeks ago in West Valley City, Utah, where a 14-year-old kid stole his grandfather's Hyundai Veloster and took it for a joyride - through a park full of children. But instead it turned into a heart-warming tale of heroism and a community banding together to do what's right... and then some.
Bryson Rowley was that hero who identified the danger and, rather than sit idly by and watch the joyrider potentially run over a child, got into his truck and drove it into the menacing runaway hatchback. The collision caused some $7,500 to his 2008 Dodge Ram 2500, but instead of getting stuck with the bill - one which his insurance may very well have refused to pay since the crash was, technically speaking, intentional - his community pitched in a helping hand.
Bryan Ellison, who owns West Valley Carstar with his brother, saw the news on television and wanted to help. So he brought Rowley a rental car, picked up his truck and brought it back to his auto repair shop. People from around the community donated parts, and when all was said and done, some $15,000 of work and upgrades were performed on the Ram that was returned to an overwhelmed Bryson Rowley better than new. Watch the video below for the full story.