FCA US LLC is voluntarily recalling an estimated 1 million trucks in the U.S. to reprogram computer modules that help control restraint-system deployment in rollover situations.
An FCA US investigation identified a population of vehicles equipped with modules featuring certain types of sensors. If such a vehicle were subjected to a significant underbody impact, its module may erroneously conclude the sensor has failed and then activate an instrument-cluster warning light.
The error code associated with the warning may temporarily disable side air bag and seat belt pretensioner** deployment for that ignition cycle, which would then be unavailable in the event of a vehicle rollover. (Deployment suppression is 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 US urges affected customers to follow the instructions on their recall notices. The Company is aware of one fatality, two injuries and two accidents that may be related.
Affected vehicles are certain 2013-16 Ram 1500 and 2500 pickups, and 2014-2016 Ram 3500 pickups. Their occupant restraint control modules will be reprogramed with software that affords more robust sensor performance.
The recall also 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.
** Pretensioners reduce seat belt slack during impacts, thereby reducing forward movement of the occupant’s head and torso.