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Chrysler adds 278,000 trucks to axle recall

DETROIT – Chrysler said Thursday it is recalling 278,000 pickup trucks and SUVs because their rear axles can lock up unexpectedly.

The recall covers many Ram 1500 pickups from the 2009 through 2012 model years, as well as Dodge Dakota pickups from 2009 through 2011. Also included are Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango SUVs from 2009.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said a nut in the rear axle can come loose because of a missing adhesive patch. If that happens, the axle can lock and the driver could lose control of the vehicle.

Chrysler said there have been 15 reported accidents, but no injuries, because of the problem.

Chrysler will start notifying owners about the recall next month. The company will install a retainer to keep the nut in place.

It’s the second time Chrysler has recalled trucks for this problem. Last October, the company recalled about 44,000 Rams and Dakotas made between July and November 2009. Chrysler later found that vehicles made as early as February 2008 and as late as October 2011 also were affected.

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