Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has issued a vehicle defect recall for about 295,981 Dodge Ram pickup trucks from the 2019-2020 model years over concerns that the software controlling airbag deployment and certain seatbelts can fail. According to Consumer Reports, a software error may occur when the engine is turned off. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states if a computer module doesn’t properly reset, the airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners might not work properly in the event of a car accident.
Details of the Recall
A seatbelt pretensioner acts to tighten the belt and better restrain an occupant in place. That, in turn, helps airbags work as intended thereby decreasing the likelihood of serious injury to vehicle occupants. FCA says it is not aware of any related accidents or injuries. An instrumental panel warning light may illuminate if a truck experiences the problem. According to FCA, about a third of the recalled trucks are still at dealerships and the 2020 trucks are pre-production models that the automaker still owns.
The repairs are expected to be available this month. The vehicles involved in the recall were manufactured from Oct. 31, 2017, through May 21, 2019. When the recall begins, dealers will reprogram the computer module that controls the airbags and seatbelt pretensioners as necessary at no charge to consumers. Owners may contact FCA customer service at 800-853-1403. Vehicle owners may also check if their pickup truck is part of this or any other recall by going to NHTSA’s website by plugging in their truck’s 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN).
When Safety Devices Fail
When seatbelts and airbags fail during a crash, the likelihood of serious or fatal injuries increases significantly. Passengers who are not restrained by seatbelts could be partially or fully ejected from the vehicle and sustain life-threatening injuries. When airbags fail to deploy during a crash, vehicle occupants face the risk of serious traumatic injuries.
Those who have been injured as the result of a defective auto can seek compensation for injuries, damages and losses. Injured victims can seek compensation from the automaker or manufacturer of the defective auto part for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Families that have lost loved ones can seek compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the automaker or manufacturer of the faulty part. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to advise injured victims or families of deceased victims regarding their legal rights and options.