Fiat Chrysler Recalls 1.9M Cars Over Airbag Issues Linked To Three Deaths

Image courtesy of (Ralph Krawczyk Jr)

Following the deaths of three people and injuries to at least five others, Fiat Chrysler has recalled 1.9 million vehicles over an alleged airbag defect.

Fiat Chrysler said on Thursday that the recalled vehicles — of which approximately 1.4 million are in the U.S. — may contain flawed computer software that could cause airbags and seatbelt restraints to fail in certain crashes, Reuters reports.

The issue, the carmaker says, is found in the occupant restraint control module and front-impact sensor wiring. If an affected vehicle is in a frontal collision, the airbags and seatbelt pretensioners may fail, meaning the airbags will not deploy and the seatbelt may not tighten, increasing the risk of injury.

The recall covers the following models and years:
• Chrysler Sebring (2010)
• Chrysler 200 (2011-2014)
• Dodge Avenger (2010-2014)
• Dodge Caliber (2010-2012)
• Jeep Patriot (2010-2014)
• Jeep Compass (2010-2014)

The carmaker, which no longer uses the occupant restoration controller or wiring in question, first uncovered the issue after analyzing crashes and collecting data from vehicles.

It is unclear when Fiat Chrysler will begin repairs, as a spokesperson tells Reuters that the company is finalizing those plans.

Fiat Chrysler’s recall comes just a week after General Motors issued the recall of 3.4 million vehicles for similar issues linked to one death and at least three injuries.

According to GM, the sensing and diagnostic module, which controls the airbag and deployment, in some vehicles contains a software defect that “may prevent the deployment of frontal airbags and pretensioners in certain rare circumstances when a crash is preceded by a specific event impacting vehicle dynamics.”

Fiat Chrysler recalling 1.9 million cars for new air bag defect [Reuters]

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