September wasn’t a very good month on the recalls front for Fiat Chrysler. There were five major recalls in September. The automaker has recalled more than 1.7 million trucks to fix problems with air bags and welds in the steering system. It also recalled about 8,000 sport utility vehicles for hacking issues. More than 200,000 Jeep Cherokees were recalled for a windshield wiper defect.
THE FIRST RECALL
The biggest of three recalls covers 1.35 million Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks and 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs, mainly in North America. All are from the 2012 through 2014 model years. Fiat Chrysler says a company investigation found that some trucks may have steering wheel electrical wires that can wear due to contact with a spring. That can cause a short circuit that could make the driver’s side air bags inflate without a crash. The company says it knows of two injuries caused by the problem but no crashes. It says an analysis of warranty data found that less than 1 percent of trucks repaired for the problem had air bags that inflated without a crash.
In some affected trucks, an air bag warning light will come on before there’s a problem. Dealers will inspect each vehicle, tie off the wiring harness and install protective caps on the springs. The company is now mailing notices to owners telling them about the recall.
THE SECOND RECALL
The second recall covers about 188,000 Ram Quad Cab pickups from the 2014 and 2015 model years. Fiat Chrysler says the side curtain air bags don’t comply with federal regulations that protect rear passengers if the trucks roll over. Testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that the air bags don’t stop rear passengers from hitting a roof support pillar. The company says it knows of no crashes, injuries or complaints. Fiat Chrysler has not yet developed a fix for the problem. Owners will be told when they can make an appointment to get repairs done. The company says drivers and passengers should wear seat belts in addition to relying on air bags.
THE THIRD RECALL
In a third recall, Fiat Chrysler said it is calling back nearly 194,000 Ram 2500 pickups and 3500 Chassis Cabs to fix a faulty weld in the steering system. The recall covers certain trucks from the 2013 and 2014 model years, mainly in North America. Some 2014 Ram 1500 pickups in Mexico are included in the recall. If the weld fails, steering components can come apart and cause reduced steering capability, the company said in a statement. Fiat Chrysler said it knows of one crash but no injuries from the problem. Customers will be told to take their trucks to dealers for an inspection, and if needed, the steering welds will be repaired. Dealers later will install a reinforcement bracket on trucks that weren’t repaired in the first phase, the company said. Ram pickups have been recalled frequently in recent years. The 2014 Ram 1500, Fiat Chrysler’s top-selling model that year, has been recalled nine times.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV has recalled nearly 8,000 sport utility vehicles (SUVs) in the U.S. so it can update software in their radios amid concerns that hackers could take advantage of a potential security vulnerability. FCA US LLC said the recall covers approximately 7,810 2015 Jeep Renegade SUVs equipped with 6.5-inch touchscreens. It appears that more than half of them are still in the possession of dealers. The company noted that the radios are different than the ones in roughly 1.4 million Dodge, Ram and Jeep vehicles, model years 2013 through 2015, affected by a similar recall in late July.
Customers impacted by the new recall will receive a USB device that they can use to upgrade vehicle software, providing additional security features. Customers can also download the software themselves or visit their dealers to have the new software installed. The automaker says that it doesn’t know of any injuries related to software exploitation and isn’t aware of any related complaints, warranty claims or accidents beyond those included in an unspecified media report. The company says no defect has been found.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled more than 200,000 Jeep Cherokees globally to repair the vehicles’ control modules that can potentially be damaged by static buildup and disable the cars’ windshield wipers, leading to visibility issues. The recall includes 158,671 model year 2014 Jeep Cherokees in the U.S., as well as an estimated 18,366 in Canada, 3,582 in Mexico and 26,049 outside North America. According to the automaker, an internal investigation revealed that static buildup may occur if the vehicles’ windshield wipers are activated during dry conditions, and significant static buildup may affect a control module that powers the wipers. The company reported it is unaware of any injuries or accidents related to the recalled Jeeps. Fiat Chrysler said dealers will install a ground strap to the control module in the affected vehicles to eliminate the potential for static buildup.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.