If you own a Ram pickup truck, pay attention: Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than one million Rams to address a software error that can affect the truck’s safety systems, and has already been linked to one crash-related death and two injuries.
FCA is recalling about 1.02 million vehicles in the U.S., including certain 2013-16 Ram 1500 and 2500 pickups, and 2014-2016 Ram 3500 pickups.
The problem lies in computer modules that helps control restraint-system deployment in a situation where the car has rolled over: FCA identified some vehicles equipped with modules that have certain kinds of sensors. If those vehicles were hit hard on the underside — perhaps from debris on the road or driving off-road — the modules may erroneously conclude that the sensor has failed, and activate a warning light.
The error code associated with that warning could temporarily disable side air bags and the seat belt pretensioner deployment. For those who don’t speak car, pretensioners reduce seat belt slack during impacts.
Not having a side air bag or properly functioning seat belts could be very dangerous in the event of a vehicle rollover.
FCA says the problem can be temporarily fixed by treating your truck like a video game console: Turn the car off and then on again.
However, the company is urging affected customers to follow the instructions on their recall notices, so FCA can reprogram the computer modules in question.
Along with the 1,021,279 affected trucks in the U.S., the recall covers an estimated 216,007 vehicles in Canada; 21,668 in Mexico; and 21,530 outside the NAFTA region.
The recall is expected to start June 23. FCA will notify customers when they can schedule service. In the meantime, if you have questions you can call at (800) 853-1403.