Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has issued a wide-ranging recall of Ram pickup trucks spanning four model years due to an issue with computer modules that help control the trucks’ airbags and seatbelts in rollover situations.
The recall includes certain 2013-2016 Ram 1500 and 2500 pickups as well as 2014-2016 Ram 3500 pickups. FCA says these trucks may mistakenly report a sensor failure and activate an instrument-cluster warning light. As a result, the truck’s side air bag and seat belt pretensioner may be disabled and not function properly if the truck were to rollover. Pretensioners reduce seat belt slack during impacts, thereby reducing forward movement of the occupant’s head and torso.
“As of April 28, 2017, FCA US is aware of two injuries and one fatality potentially related to this issue,” FCA reports in documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Deployment suppression is considered a feature of restraint systems. It serves as a potential safeguard against inadvertent system activation, should a sensor failure actually occur.
If the warning light is illuminated, normal restraint-system function may be restored by turning the vehicle’s ignition to “off,” and then to “on/run.” Function restoration may be verified by the absence of a warning light.
However, FCA urges affected customers to follow the instructions on their recall notices. Their occupant restraint control modules will be reprogramed with software that affords more robust sensor performance.
The recall affects an estimated 216,007 vehicles in Canada; 21,668 in Mexico; and 21,530 outside the NAFTA region.
Affected customers will be advised when they may schedule service. As always, the company urges all customers to use seat belts when operating or riding in any motor vehicle.
Customers with questions may call the FCA US Customer Care Center at (800) 853-1403.