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Chrysler adds 278,000 pickups and SUVs to recall for axle-locking problem

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This product image provided by the Chrysler Group, shows the 2011 Dodge Dakota. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Chrysler Group

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DETROIT - Chrysler is recalling more than 370,000 pickup trucks and SUVs, more than 63,000 of them in Canada and some 278,000 in the United States, because their rear axles can lock up unexpectedly.

The recall, announced Thursday, 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 U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said a nut in the rear axle can come loose due to 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 due to the problem.

The automaker 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 of 2009. Chrysler later found that vehicles made as early as February 2008 and as late as October 2011 were also affected.

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