Greetings from the Hemet Car Guy,
When a few weeks ago I wrote about Toyota’s recall on Takata Airbags, I just knew the conversation wasn’t going to stop there. Over the past five years, auto manufacturers have suffered through countless recalls, and 2016 experienced a record number of recalls, the main reason being shared technologies and shared media and the fact that manufacturers are making better, safer vehicles. I keep referring back to the ‘63 Chevy Corvair, which, according to Ralph Nader, was “Unsafe at any Speed.” The fact is I owned one and I know we’ve come a long way, baby, in regards to safety.
My favorite truck, the Dodge Ram, is now under recall for 2013-2016 models. So, if you have been considering purchasing one, my recommendation is a new or used 2017. However, if you happen to own a 2013-2017 Dodge Ram, here are a few things you need to know:
The recall covers three different light- and medium-duty versions of the full-size Ram pickup sold in North America, as well as other parts of the world between the 2013 through 2016 model-years, according to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).
That includes 1.02 million vehicles: 2013-16 Ram 1500 and 2500 pickups; 2014-2016 Ram 3500 trucks sold in the United States; along with 216,007 pickups shipped to Canada; 21,668 to Mexico; and another 21,530 sold outside North America.
The problem is caused by a software error that can incorrectly determine that a sensor has failed due to a “significant underbody impact,” which could occur if one of the vehicles strikes road debris or rocks, ruts or other obstacles while driven off-road. If that happens, a vehicle’s side-impact airbags and seatbelt pretensioners may not deploy during a rollover collision.
Owners will receive a warning on the instrument panel if the software error occurs. The company said motorists can temporarily fix the issue by shutting off the vehicle and turning it back on. If the warning light is off, the crash system is working again, says FCA.
But to prevent the problem from recurring, FCA will need to reprogram the onboard sensor. The maker plans to notify owners and begin making repairs in late June. The fix will be made at no charge.
“Good for us we don’t have any of the affected recall trucks in stock right now,” said Joe Hinojoza, general manager from Hemet Chrysler. “We’ve been pretty lucky…we have had some issues with recalls on lesser concerns like windshield wipers and stuff like that. But as for the customers who have the Ram trucks affected by the recall, our service department is doing everything possible to make sure the customers are taken care of.”
The consumers are very aware of recalls, and with internet and vehicle registrations, manufacturers are hyper-sensitive in protecting their reputation and the customer’s safety.
The new Ram recall is the latest in a series of airbag problems plaguing the auto industry. Manufacturers have ordered repairs on tens of millions of vehicles in recent years for a variety of problems, including faulty software and sensors, as well as worn wiring.
But the biggest airbag problem has centered around defective devices manufactured by Japanese supplier Takata. That has led to the largest automotive recall in history, impacting as many as 70 million airbags used in more than 50 million vehicles worldwide. The Takata problem has now been linked to at least a dozen deaths in the U.S. and numerous additional fatalities abroad.
As for the Ram recall, FCA learned of the problem last December when it was named in a lawsuit involving the crash of a 2014 Ram 1500. The vehicle’s side airbags failed to deploy when the pickup was involved in a rollover collision.
As for recalls, I’m sure there are more to come. Don’t stress…our vehicles are still safer than ever before, and as said in previous articles, drive safely and stop texting and driving.
The Hemet Car Guy