Fiat Chrysler has been very busy recently issuing recalls for airbag, ignition switch, and manufacturing issues in its Jeep Liberty, Cherokee, and Wrangler SUVs, its Dodge Viper and Challenger cars, its Dodge Ram truck, and its Ram ProMaster City vans. This is not good news for the automaker or the owners of these vehicles.
The bulk of the recalls are over airbag deployment issues. Nearly 317,000 Jeep Cherokees (2014-2015 models) have been recalled due to airbags deploying in off-road conditions. The software that controls the side curtain and seat-mounted side airbags senses a possible rollover when the Jeep’s angle of operation changes, inadvertently inflating the air bags. Fiat Chrysler dealers will recalibrate the threshold that sets off the airbags, potentially leading to more serious problems of the airbag failing to deploy when there is a crash.
Fiat Chrysler is also recalling the Ram ProMaster City cargo and passenger vans to remove a section of tape from the side-curtain airbags. Engineers found that the tape used for airbag installation during vehicle assembly may prevent airbags from fully deploying.
The next biggest recall involves possible ignition switch problems in nearly 43,874 of the 2006 Jeep Liberty and Wrangler SUVs and the Dodge Viper car. Engineers have found that the vehicles have switches that contain a type of wire that was involved in a 67,000-truck recall in December. The wire may break, preventing the vehicle from starting. If a driver does not follow recommended procedures for starting the vehicle, the vehicle also could move unintentionally when the ignition key is turned.
The automaker will notify customers of the issue and service availability. For the time being, customers are advised to follow recommended procedures for starting their vehicles, such as activating the parking brake, placing the shift lever in neutral and pressing the clutch pedal before turning the ignition key.
In addition, Fiat Chrysler is recalling 1,771 HEMI-powered dual-wheel Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab pickup trucks to recalibrate the top speed from 106 mph to 87 mph to comply with the factory-equipped tire restrictions. Finally, Fiat Chrysler is recalling 72 Dodge Challengers (2015 model) for having loose or missing bolts. So far, Fiat Chrysler maintains that there have been no injuries related to these defects, but only time will tell if these recalls are effective.
Sources: ABCnews, autoevolution, autonews
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