Gov't Probing Dodge Truck, SUV Engine Stalling

The government is investigating complaints of engines stalling in Dodge trucks and sport utility vehicles, officials said Friday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (search) said it has received two dozen complaints about engines stalling in the 2004-2005 model years of the Dodge Ram 1500 (search) trucks and Dodge Durango SUVs. Both vehicles are equipped with 5.7-liter engines.

The government said the preliminary investigation involves an estimated 506,000 vehicles, but company officials said it probably involves a more limited number.

Max Gates, a DaimlerChrysler AG (DCX) spokesman, said a review of calls from customers, warranty claims and other internal cases will "give us a better handle of what population of vehicles may be affected."

"It's a little too soon to know," he said.

Owners have complained that the engine will stall at various speeds and under different driving conditions, NHTSA said.

The government will begin an investigation to learn more about the alleged defect and potential safety consequences.

The vehicles are produced by DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group.

The Ram series is one of the company's most popular models, selling 426,289 vehicles in the United States in 2004, down 5.4 percent from 449,371 sold in 2003, according to Autodata Corp.

The company, meanwhile, sold 137,148 units of the Durango in 2004, up 26.6 percent from 108,010 sold in 2003, Autodata Corp. reported.