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Recall Notification #642 
Steering Wheel Back Cover

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Date: July, 1995 

To: All Dodge Truck Dealers

Subject., Safety Recall #642 -Steering Wheel Back Cover

Effective immediately Recall #642 cancels and supersedes Recall #627 -- Steering Wheel Back Cover Plugs. All vehicles (whether Recall #627 has been completed or not) must have the steering wheel back cover replaced.

Models: 1994 and Early-1995 Model Year Dodge Ram (BR) and Dakota (AN) Trucks Built Through July 22, 1994


While making a turn, the extra keys on certain key ring sets may become lodged in the steering wheel back cover, hampering steering wheel return. Although Recall #627 (installation of plugs in the back cover access holes) reduces the potential, further action is required to fully correct this condition.

Note: The new cover does not require the plugs which were used for Recall #627.


Important. A quantity of parts will be distributed initially and billed to all involved dealers. This quantity will cover a portion of the total vehicles involved. Additional part packages may be ordered at dealer cost, if needed, to support customer demand and to repair vehicles in dealer inventory prior to retail delivery.

Each involved dealer, to whom vehicles in the recall were invoiced (or the current dealer at the same street address), will receive enough Steering Wheel Back Cover Packages, PN CBT16420, to service about 10% of those vehicles. Each part package contains the following components:

Quantity       Description
    1              Steering Wheel Back Cover (Black)
    1              Instruction Sheet

Service Procedure:

A. Replace Steering Wheel Back Cover:


1.    Place the steering wheel in the straight ahead position.

WARNING: Before beginning any air bag system removal procedure, you must first disconnect and isolate the battery negative (ground) cable and then wait 2 minutes for the system capacitor to discharge. Failure to do so could result in accidental deployment and possible personal injury.

2.    Disconnect the negative battery cable.

Note: To ensure customer satisfaction, remember to record all radio settings before disconnecting the battery and to reset all electronic memory (clock, radio settings, etc.) when you have completed the service procedure.

3.    From the underside of the steering wheel, remove the speed control switch (if equipped) or trim plate mounting screws (Figure 1). 

4.    Pull speed control switches from wheel and unplug connector (Figure 2).

5.    Turn wheel and remove the two plugs (if equipped) in the steering wheel back cover screw access holes. Insert a flat blade screwdriver into the small hole in the center of each plug and pry them out (Figure 3).

6.    Using a small screwdriver, remove the steering wheel cover cap (Figure 4).

7.    Remove the four (4) nuts attaching the air bag module (Figure 5).

8.    Remove the air bag module from the steering wheel and unplug the squib connector from the air bag module.

CAUTION: When carrying an undeployed module, the trim cover should be pointed away from the body to minimize injury in the event of accidental deployment. If the module is placed on a bench or other surface, the plastic trim cover should be face up to minimize movement in case of accidental deployment.

9.    Disconnect the wire to the horn buttons.

10.  Remove the steering wheel retaining nut.

11.  Remove the steering wheel with a puller such as Snap-On CJ2001P or equivalent.

CAUTION: Carefully route wiring through steering wheel to avoid wire damage.

NOTE: Do not hammer or jolt steering column or shaft during removal of wheel.

12.  Remove the four steering wheel back cover attaching screws. Remove the back cover from the steering wheel and discard (Figure 6).

13.  Install the provided back cover using the original screws.

14.  Carefully route the airbag and speed control (if equipped) wires through the lower hole in the steering wheel. Route the horn wire through the smaller hole at the top (Figure 7). Ensure that the wires are not pinched or damaged.

15.  Install the steering wheel with the master splines aligned.

16.  Install the retaining nut and torque to 45 ft-lbs (61 N-m).

IMPORTANT: Press and seat the steering wheel on the shaft using the retaining nut only. Do not hammer or jolt the column or shaft to install the wheel.

17. Connect the wire to the horn buttons.

18. Connect the squib wiring connector to the air bag module by pressing straight in on the connector. The connector should latch securely beneath the module locking clip to assure a positive connection.

19.  Install the air bag module. Install the four attaching nuts and torque to 90 in- lbs (10 N-m).

20.  Insert the speed control wiring connector into the switch (if equipped).

21. Install the speed control switch or trim plate.

B. Air Bag System Check:

1.    From the right (passenger) side of the vehicle (away from the air bag in case of accidental deployment), turn the ignition switch to the ON position.

2.    After checking that no one is inside vehicle, reconnect the negative battery cable.

3.    From passenger side of vehicle, turn ignition switch to OFF then ON. Observe the instrument cluster air bag lamp. It should go on for 6 to 8 seconds, then go out; indicating system is functioning normally.

If the air bag warning lamp fails to light, or goes on and stays on, there is a system malfunction. Refer to the Passive Restraint Diagnostic Test manual to diagnose the problem.

Completion Reporting and Reimbursement

Claims for vehicles which have been serviced must be submitted an the DIAL System. Claims submitted will be used by Chrysler to record recall service completions and provide dealer payments.

Use the following labor operation number and time allowance:

                                                                 Labor Operation Number  Time Allowance
Replace steering wheel back cover                         19642182                      0.5 hours

Add the cost of the recall parts package plus applicable dealer allowance to your claim.

Note- See Warranty Policy and Procedure Manual, Chapter 6, Subsection H for complete recall claim processing instructions.

Parts Return Not required.

Vehicle Not Available:

If a vehicle is not available for service for a known reason, let us know by filling out the pre-addressed Vehicle Disposition Form portion of the Owner Notification Form or describe the reason on a postcard and mail to:

Chrysler Corporation 429-10-04
P.O. Box 1919
Detroit, Michigan 48231-1919

Following the above procedures will expedite the processing of your claim. If you have any questions or need assistance in completing this action, please contact your Zone Service Office.

What Chrysler and your dealer will do ..

Chrysler will repair your Ram truck free of charge (parts and labor). To do this, your dealer will replace the secondary hood latch bracket. The work will take about one half hour to complete. However, additional time may be necessary depending on how dealer appointments are scheduled and processed.

If you need help

If you have trouble getting your vehicle repaired, please call the Chrysler Customer Center, toll free, at 1-800-353-1403. A representative will assist you in getting your vehicle repaired. If your dealer fails or is unable to remedy this defect without charge and within a reasonable time, you may submit a written complaint to the Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590, or call the Toll Free Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800-424-9393. (Washington, D.C. area residents may call 366-0123.)

Thanks to Bob Bergevin and Barry Drodge for supplying this Recall information.

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This page was edited on: May 3, 2004