Fiat 500 Recalled for Rollaway Hazard
Automaker Fiat Chrysler has recalled 1.9 million vehicles for possible airbag and seatbelt failures linked to at least three deaths and five injuries. According to a news report in The Wall Street Journal, the Italian automaker said the vehicles equipped with certain occupant restraint control module and front-impact sensor wiring with a specific design can fail to activate airbags and seatbelt restraints in some crashes.
Failure of Critical Safety Devices
Chrysler has said it no longer uses the parts found in the affected vehicles and said that it was aware of three deaths and five injuries that may potentially be related to these defective autos. Vehicles involved in the recall include the 2010 Chrysler Sebring, 2011-2014 Chrysler 200 and 2010-2014 Dodge Avenger midsize cars; 2010-2012 Dodge Caliber compact cars; and 2010-2014 Jeep Patriot and Compass SUVs.
The automaker indicated that the issue that prevented the airbag and seatbelts from working has occurred in frontal collisions with the affected vehicles. The company says it has not found these problems occur with airbags or seatbelts in side or rear collisions. The problem was uncovered when the automaker analyzed crashes and collected data from vehicles. Fiat Chrysler has paid penalties recently for safety lapses. Last year, the automaker faced fines for recall lapses covering millions of vehicles including older Jeeps with rear gas tanks linked to fatal fires in rear-end crashes.
When Seatbelts and Airbags Fail
Based on this news report, it appears that the airbags and seat belts in the recalled vehicles failed during frontal collisions. These vehicle defects were also linked to three deaths and five injuries, even though the nature or extent of those injuries is not known. Earlier this month, GM recalled nearly 4.3 million vehicles with defective software that could cause airbags and seatbelts to fail, a problem the automaker tied to one death and three injuries. When seatbelts and airbags fail to protect vehicle occupants, particularly in head-on crashes, the consequences could be catastrophic or even deadly.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a vehicle defect or a defective safety device, you may be able to file a product liability claim against the automaker seeking compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. An experienced auto defect law firm will be able to fight for victims’ rights and help ensure that the negligent automakers are held accountable.