Ram pickups recalled over occupant safety

Over 1.25 million could develop problems with safety systems deployment

Published: May 15, 2017, 6:25 AM
Updated: May 20, 2017, 4:08 AM

Mopar 16 Ram Rebel

Ram 1500 door badge

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is recalling more than 1.25 million Ram trucks to address a software problem that could prevent the deployment of some occupant protections safety systems.

The recall affects Ram 1500 and 2500 trucks from model years 2013 through 2016, and 3500 pickups from 2014-16. An estimated one million trucks are located in the US, 216,007 in Canada, 21,668 in Mexico and 21,530 outside North America.

2015 Ram 1500

The problem stems from certain sensors that could be deemed to be inoperative if the truck receives a significant underbody impact. The computer control module could conclude the sensor has failed and trigger an instrument cluster warning light, which could then disable the deployment of side airbags and seatbelt pretensioners.

Although deployment suppression of those systems is a natural system response to a faulty sensor (to protect against inadvertent activation), the occurrence in this case would leave cabin occupants vulnerable to serious injuries if the truck were then involved in a side impact or rollover crash.

FCA is aware of two crashes that may be related to the issue, resulting in three injuries (one of them fatal).

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Owners of affected vehicles will be asked to return to a dealership to have the computer module reprogrammed with software that allows more robust sensor performance. In the meantime, owners experiencing the warning-light symptoms of the issue can check on their vehicle’s status by switching off the ignition, and then back to on/run. If the warning-light goes off, the readiness of the safety restraint system is restored.

Customers can also check on the status of their trucks through FCA customer car at 800-853-1403.