The management of Fiat Chrysler has resolved to recall over one million Ram pickup trucks due to defective software. The announcement was made on Friday and corrective update on the faulty software will begin by late June. It will be free for all affected vehicles.
The Auburn Hills automaker disclosed that when a major blow is impacted on the underside of the Ram pickup, its computer modules is tricked into thinking that a sensor has ceased to work, thereby disabling the side airbags and seatbelts. This fault has led to two accidents, two injuries and one death. Turning off the vehicle and then turning it on again however corrects the software error until it occurs again.
About one million Ram pickup trucks will be recalled in the US alone and 216,007 others in Canada. Another 21,668 will be recalled in Mexico and then 21,530 from global markets. The Ram pickup vehicles affected by this current recall are Ram 1500 and 2500 of 2013 to 2016 model and Ram 3500 of 2014 to 2016 models.
Starting from late June, affected customers will be contacted and notified of when their own vehicles could come in for software update. This computer module reprogramming is necessary because it would activate the instant deployment of side airbags and seatbelts during impacts.
“Pretensioners reduce seatbelt slack during impacts, thereby reducing forward movement of the occupant’s head and torso,” Fiat Chrysler revealed. In a case where the software fails, a warning light is illuminated on the dashboard, prompting the failures of both airbags and seatbelts.
The automaker voluntarily made this recall bearing in mind that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) fined it $105 million in 2015 for failing to report technical problems identified with 11 million vehicles. And there was another $70 fine for failing to notify NHTSA about warranty claims, consumer complaints and accidents related to vehicle problems.