Ram pickups with fatal flaw recalled by Fiat Chrysler

Black Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab

Fiat Chrysler recently announced that they recalled over one million Ram pickups to repair faulty software that can disable safety equipment. One fatal accident has been reported due to the problem.

What’s causing Ram pickup software to fail?

According to Fiat Chrysler and as they reported to federal regulators, the computer modules in the aforementioned Ram pickups could fail if the underbody of the truck was hit. This could cause the side airbags and seat belt tension devices to shut off.

In documents to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the automaker reported that this defect is linked to accidents that caused two injuries and one fatality.

Over one million recalled Ram pickups

The Ram recall covers 1.02 million trucks in the United States and 259,000 vehicles in Canada, Mexico and other countries.

The recall is for the 2013-16 Ram 1500 and 2500 pickups, as well as for the 2014-16 Ram 3500 models.

Fiat Chrysler already under the gun

Since 2015, Fiat Chrysler’s safety practices have been overseen by an independent monitor as part of a broad settlement with regulators. The company had been charged with underreporting death and injury claims linked to possible defects in its vehicles.

In December, 2016, the automaker began an internal investigation of the Ram trucks’ problems because of a lawsuit that contends the airbags and seatbelt devices had failed to work in a rollover crash involving a 2014 model Ram 1500.

As a result of the inquiry, they found that a significant impact to the underside of the Ram pickup trucks could cause the computer systems to generate error codes that temporarily disable side airbags and seat belts.

The company is urging Ram pickup truck owners of the affected models to heed warning lights on the instrument panel, which will light up when the computer module fails. Should this happen, the company said that the “normal restraint-system function may be restored” by turning off the ignition and starting the vehicle again. If the warning lights do not come back on, the vehicle is working correctly.

For recall information and repair, you should contact the dealership from which you purchased your vehicle.

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Attribution: Dickbauch/Wikimedia Commons[Public domain]

 Source: New York Times

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