More than a million Dodge Ram trucks have been recalled, after at least one death may have been caused by a software glitch that could prevent the side curtain airbags and seatbelt pretensioners from working properly in the event of a roll-over crash.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the Dodge Ram truck recall on May 12, after Fiat Chrysler Automotive acknowledged the software problem, which mat be linked to accidents involving at least one death and two injuries.
According to the recall notice, the vehicles may experience a software malfunction prior to a vehicle roll-over, which can prevent the seatbelt pretensioners from locking passengers in place, and disrupt the sensor that deploys the airbags.
Chrysler indicates the issue is related to a software error that may indirectly determine a sensor has failed when it receives an underbody impact, ultimately disabling the side air bags and seatbelt pretensioners.
The recall includes certain model year 2013 through 2016 Dodge Ram 1500 and 2500 trucks and certain model year 2014 through 2016 Dodge Ram 3500 trucks.
According to Chrysler, an estimated 1 million vehicles were distributed for sale to licensed dealers within the United States as well as another 216,007 to Canada and an additional 21,668 to Mexico. Chrysler reported 21,530 impacted vehicles were distributed for sale in other territories.
Customers are being asked to watch for a warning light illuminating on the dashboard. If the warning light illuminates, customers should safely stop and turn the vehicle off and then back on. If the light disappears from the dashboard, the vehicle sensors will work correctly, according to Chrysler.
Affected owners will be mailed notifications by Chrysler with details of the issue and instructions on how to schedule a free repair at their local dealer. Dealers will be instructed to reprogram the software that controls the safety systems in the recalled vehicles.