The Chrysler recalls seem never-ending as of late. Chrysler has announced a vehicle defect recall for certain 2013 Ram 1500 pickup trucks to repair a software issue that may disable the electronic stability control system.
According to a news report in The Washington Post, the number of vehicles potentially affected by the recall is 45,961. A bulletin posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on its web site states that the affected vehicles were manufactured from June 26, 2012 through February 5, 2013.
Software Glitch Causes Safety Issue
NHTSA’s bulletin states that the problem is a software glitch in the electronic stability control (ESC) module. The ESC system may become disabled after the vehicle is started. When this occurs, the driver may lose control of the vehicle, which could increase the risk of a crash. This safety recall affects only four-wheel driver models.
Chrysler became aware of the issue when dealers reported that the ESC warning lamps were activated in these vehicles, which means that electronic stability control has been disabled. Chrysler’s investigation into the matter revealed that the disabling of the ESC may occur inadvertently when “the transfer case position is changed immediately before the ignition is turned off.” Chrysler has modified the software to prevent the ESC deactivation in such circumstances. No accidents or injuries have been reported in connection with these defective vehicles. When the recall begins in August, Chrysler will notify owners and dealers will update the ESC control module at no cost to consumers.
Importance of Electronic Stability Control Systems
ESC systems use sensors to detect when a driver is about to lose control of a vehicle and automatically intervene to provide stability and help the driver stay on the road. ESC has been hailed as a milestone in automotive safety just as seatbelts and airbags have been for vehicle occupants. ESC helps prevent serious injury rollover collisions as well. Five different studies have shown a 35 percent reduction in single-vehicle collisions, thanks to ESC systems in vehicles.
Although safety systems such as ESC, airbags and seatbelts protect vehicle occupants, when they fail, the consequences can be devastating. Rollover accidents typically result in catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord trauma, which can leave a person with long-term or even lifelong disabilities. Anyone who has been injured in a car crash caused by a defective auto would be well advised to contact an experienced auto product liability lawyer who has successfully fought large automakers on behalf of affected victims and their families.