Chrysler Recalls 1.3M Ram Trucks – What Does It Mean for Consumers?
If you own a Ram Truck, you may already be aware of the recall of 1.3 million of the vehicles due to software problems. The issues can cause side airbags and seatbelts to malfunction in a roll-over crash. Of course, automotive recalls are nothing new, but an increasing number of them, including this Ram Truck recall, are technology related. How could this technology-based Ram Truck recall affect you even if you don’t own this vehicle?
A Quick History of Automotive Recalls
The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHSTA) says the federal government has had the power to recall motor vehicles ever since the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was put into effect in 1966. Since then, over 390 million such recalls have occurred in the United States. Interestingly enough, recalls generally have been getting more common through the years, with the exception of the economic slowdown from 2008-2010. This is due to increasing technology in vehicles and because so many parts are being outsourced to different manufacturers. These individual parts may not always function as intended when pieced together at the factory. This is important for consumers to recognize, as it offers more opportunities for recourse when technological failures occur that affect safety in cars and trucks.
The 1.4 million vehicles involved in the Ram Truck recall is far from the nation’s largest. According to CNN, that designation belongs to Ford. In 1980, the automaker recalled over 21 million vehicles spanning 10 model years. The problem? The vehicles could slip from park into reverse unexpectedly. But even that number pales in comparison to the recent Takata Airbag recall, which was associated with not just one, but 19 different automakers. Consumer Reports says the recall of self-deploying airbags affects an astounding 42 million vehicles.
The Ram Truck Issue
The Ram Truck recall is due to a software problem that can falsely determine that a sensor has failed after an impact to the truck’s undercarriage. This can happen if the truck strikes road debris or encounters rocks or other rubble while traveling off-road. In this situation, the seatbelt pre-tensioners and side airbags may not function in a rollover. Chrysler says the sensor warning will be displayed on the dashboard and can be reset by turning off and restarting the truck. If the warning light is off, the system is functioning properly.
The automaker says the recall affects three different light- and medium-duty versions of their full-size Ram pickup sold between the 2013 through 2016 model-years. This includes about one million 2013-16 Ram 1500 and 2500 pickups, along with 2014-2016 Ram 3500 trucks sold in the U.S. The remaining vehicles were sold in Canada, Mexico, and outside of North America. Chrysler is offering to reprogram the sensor to resolve the potential issue for affected truck owners.
Making Sure You are Aware and Protected
At McNeely Stephenson, we’re Indiana’s accident and injury lawyers that want you to be aware and protected. We encourage you to enter the 17-digit VIN number from your vehicle at the NHSTA website to find out about any recalls associated with your vehicle.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to driver or manufacturer negligence, please contact us. We will find the responsible party or parties and fight for justice on your behalf.