Fiat Chrysler has issued a major auto safety recall for about 500,000 Jeep Wrangler SUVs because of potentially faulty components in the steering wheel could prevent the driver’s side airbags from deploying in a crash. According to a Detroit News report, the recalled SUVs are from the 2007-2010 model year.
The recall is to replace clockspring assemblies and related components and to install new steering wheel back covers and steering-column shrouds.
The recall was issued after an investigation by Fiat Chrysler determined that excessive exposure to dust and dirt could impact the clockspring and eventually cause the driver-side airbags to fail. A clockspring is located in the vehicle’s steering wheel. It forms part of the circuit that helps control airbag function.
If this occurs, the airbag warning lamp will be illuminated. Customers whose airbag light comes on are asked to contact their dealers. The company said it is unaware of any injuries or accidents in the recalled Jeep Wranglers or Fiat 500s due to the potentially faulty parts. Those with questions should call FCA US Customer Care at (800) 853-1403.
Dangers of Airbag Failure
There’s no question that airbags have saved a number of lives. But they’ve also caused injuries. When airbags fail to deploy the consequences can be devastating. When they deploy without warning, the injuries sustained by vehicle occupants can be fatal as well.
A significant number of airbag accidents result in eye, neck, head and brain injuries as well as spinal and torso injuries. Most recently, millions of vehicles equipped with Takata airbags have been recalled for defective airbag inflators that can propel metal shards into the vehicle compartment causing serious injuries and deaths.
Auto Product Liability Issues
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of an airbag that fails to deploy, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. If you have lost a loved one due to airbag failure, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the automaker and the manufacturer of the defective airbag. In such cases, it is crucial to preserve the vehicle in its current condition unaltered so it can be examined thoroughly by experts for evidence of defects and malfunctions.