Fiat Chrysler Recalls Trucks Over Software Error Which Disables Side Air Bags, Seatbelt Systems

Reuters/Rebecca CookFiat Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne gives opening remarks during the FCA Investors Day at Chrysler World Headquarters.

Fiat Chrysler has announced on May 12, Friday, that the company would be recalling more than 1.25 million pickup trucks to prevent further accidents from a software issue in the vehicles. The software error has reportedly been involved in a crash resulting in one death and two injuries.

Fiat Chrysler's recall would be for pickup trucks worldwide, according to Reuters. According to the automaker, an issue with the software could cause the deployment of the side airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners to be temporarily disabled under specific circumstances. The questionable code could temporarily render these safety features non-functional when the vehicle undergoes underbody impact, according to Fiat Chrysler.

A common case for underbody impact is when the vehicle slams into debris in its path, especially when driving off-road, or in rollover situations. The Italian-American automaker promised to make corrections to the computer modules in the affected vehicles to address this issue.

The details of the recall have been posted by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) on their official website. According to this online announcement, the vehicles covered by this precautionary recall are select variants of the 2013-2016 Ram 1500 and 2500 pickup trucks and the 2014–2016 Ram 3500 pickups.

The recall is estimated to cover 216,007 Fiat Chrysler vehicles in Canada, 21,668 in Mexico, and 21,350 in other countries.

According to Fiat Chrysler, a warning light for the seatbelt, which could indicate an issue with the restraint system, could be reset by turning the vehicle off and then on. In any case, the company warns owners of the covered vehicles to comply with the recall to ensure their safety.

The company has told the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it has been looking into a report of a 2014 Ram 1500 pickup truck in which the airbag failed to deploy in a rollover accident.