Software-Related Recalls Give Scare to Ram Truck Owners
Vehicle technology is always improving. The latest active safety features reduce the risk of collision, while advanced airbag technology minimizes likelihood of injury in the event of a crash. Unfortunately, today’s vehicles are far from perfect, as evidenced by a recall initiated by Fiat Chrysler in May, 2017. This recall has drivers worried about the reliability of software in select Ram trucks, which may not be as safe as owners were led to believe.
Why the Recall?
Fiat Chrysler’s May recall was sparked, in part, by two devastating car accidents. Sadly, CNN Money reports that one of these crashes resulted in a fatality. A software problem involving an erroneous code is believed capable of briefly disabling the vehicle’s side airbags. Furthermore, the software issue could prevent seatbelt pretensioner deployment, leaving drivers and passengers at considerable risk.
A representative from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles claims that likelihood of such an incident was incredibly low even before the recall, as a specific sequence of events would need to take place for airbags not to deploy. However, Fiat Chrysler sought to assuage consumer fears by tackling the problem proactively. The automaker first began investigating the problem in late 2016, when it received notice of a suit related to a 2014 Ram 1500 accident. In this devastating incident, the airbag did not deploy as required during a rollover.
Owners of recalled vehicles can expect Fiat Chrysler to reprogram computer modules at no charge. The recall officially began on June 23. It is imperative that affected Ram truck drivers seek complimentary repairs; until then, they can better protect themselves and other vehicle occupants by simply turning their pickups off and on if they suspect airbag problems. An illuminated warning light on the instrument cluster should indicate whether there is cause for concern. If, upon resetting the system, the warning light turns off, drivers can take solace in knowing that their vehicle is working correctly.
The May recall primarily targeted Ram trucks, including 1500, 2500, and 3500 models manufactured between 2013 and 2016. In addition to covering 1.02 million Ram pickups sold in the United States, the recall will address 216,007 Canadian vehicles and tens of thousands in other countries.
What This Means for Truck Owners
Ram trucks are by no means the only vehicle models facing possible software issues with their airbag systems. According to Reuters, General Motors recalled nearly 4.3 million vehicles in September, citing a similar defect that prevents airbags from deploying properly.
Recent software issues leave not only drivers of affected vehicles worried for their safety, but also those who operate other makes and models. Drivers and passengers want to know that, should an accident occur, they’ll be appropriately protected by airbag systems.
Hopefully, prompt action from Fiat Chrysler will prevent future injuries and fatalities in rollover accidents. Those already affected by airbag issues may be eligible for recourse through the court system. By holding manufacturers accountable, victims can send a clear message to negligent parties while also gaining a much-needed sense of justice and closure.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by malfunctioning safety features, it is imperative that you seek legal support. The Chris J. Roy, Jr. Law Firm can help. Boasting an impressive track record in personal injury law, the acclaimed legal practice has helped many accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve. Call 318-487-9537 today to learn more about your options and to schedule a complimentary case consultation.