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From Products Liability Law Daily, September 10, 2015

FCA US recalls more than 1.5 million trucks over air bag deployment problems

By John Dumoulin

FCA US LLC has recalled an estimated 1.34 million model year 2012-2014 Ram pickups and an additional 188,047 model year 2014-2015 Ram trucks manufactured from August 26, 2013, to August 8, 2015 for issues concerning air bag deployment in those vehicles.

Wiring harness recall. FCA US is recalling 2012-2014 Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 pickups and 3500, 4500, and 5500 Chassis Cabs in order to inspect and service steering-wheel wiring harnesses, as required, according to a company press release. FCA US said that it had discovered certain trucks may have steering-wheel wiring harnesses that wear because of contact with a spring, and that such wear may cause a short-circuit which could lead to inadvertent driver-side air-bag deployment. This recall involves an estimated 1.06 million U.S.-market trucks, in addition to approximately 235,925 in Canada, 26,543 in Mexico, and 23,635 outside the NAFTA region (FCA US LLC press release, September 10, 2015).

FCA US said it is aware of two related injuries but no accidents. The company also said that the condition, which may be signaled by illumination of the air-bag warning light, relates to vehicles equipped with an Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) and may not be present in every vehicle subject to the recall.

Side air bag inflatable curtains. In addition, FCA US has recalled approximately 188,047 model year 2014-2015 Ram 1500 Quad Cab trucks manufactured from August 26, 2013, to August 8, 2015, because the affected vehicles are equipped with side air bag inflatable curtains (SABIC) that may not fully overlap the C-pillars in the event of a vehicle crash. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 226, “Ejection Mitigation.” In the event of a vehicle crash, if a SABIC does not inflate as intended, there is an increased risk of injury to the rear seat occupant, according to FCA US (NHTSA Recall Notice, No. 15V534, Report receipt date: August 21, 2015).

Remedies. With regard to the wiring harness issue, FCA US will, at no charge to customers, inspect every affected vehicle and, as required, tie back its wiring harness and install protective caps on its air-bag retainer spring-ends. The company said that notices are now being mailed to advise affected customers when they may schedule service and that it urges all customers to read their notices and respond accordingly. Alternately, customers may visit http://recalls.mopar.com/ or https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/ to determine if their vehicles are included in this campaign.

With regard to the SABIC issue in recall 15V534, the remedy is still under development. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.

Contact information. Owners may contact the FCA US Customer Care Center at 1-800-853-1403. The company’s number for recall 15V534 is R47. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Companies: FCA US LLC

MainStory: TopStory ProductRecallsNews MotorVehiclesNews

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