DaimlerChrysler is voluntarily recalling approximately 380,000 Dodge Ram trucks to replace or reinforce their trailer hitches. The company discovered that the hitches' side brackets were made, for a time, with substandard steel which may crack. The recall affects 1998-2000 model year vehicles built between January 1998 and September 1999. There have been no reports of hitches breaking as a result of this problem.

Notification letters were mailed to owners last week. They can call their dealers to schedule a free inspection and repair. Service technicians will inspect the hitches and replace any that show signs of cracking. Hitches which have not cracked will be reinforced with a pair of brackets. It takes about an hour to complete the repair.