Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced Thursday three separate recalls covering about 1.7 million Ram trucks, mostly to check or fix a wiring issue that could cause the driver’s side airbag to deploy inadvertently. The recalls include the larger heavy-duty Ram trucks often used as commercial vehicles in which drivers might be employees of construction or other firms.
“Certain trucks may have steering-wheel wiring harnesses that wear because of contact with a spring. Such wear may cause a short circuit that may lead to inadvertent driver-side air-bag deployment,” the U.S. unit (formerly Chrysler Group) of the global automaker said in a statement.
No accidents or injuries have been reported linked to these issues, FCA said. Owners can use the vehicle identification number to check if their truck is affected by going to FCA’s VIN-lookup Web page here.
Most of the affected trucks from Thursday’s recalls are in the U.S. Nearly 257,000 were sold in Canada, about 40,000 are located in Mexico and fewer than 4,000 are outside North America. Here’s the full list:
* 1.06 million 2012–2014 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks and 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cab trucks to ensure wiring harnesses don’t wear, causing a short circuit that can suddenly cause the driver’s side airbag to deploy.
* 188,000 2014–2015 Ram 1500 Quad Cab pickup trucks to fix the side-curtain airbags that protect rear occupants.
* About 236,000 2013 Ram 3500 heavy-duty pickups, 2014 Ram 2500/3500 heavy-duty pickups, Ram 3500 Chassis Cab trucks and 2014 Ram 1500 pickups (in Mexico only) need to have bracket welds checked to ensure steering components work properly.
Facing increased scrutiny by U.S. safety regulators following a record year of automotive safety recalls in 2014, manufactures are under greater pressure to get ahead of safety defects before the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demands recalls.
In July, FCA agreed to pay a $105 million civil penalty for “problems with Fiat Chrysler’s execution of 23 vehicle safety recalls covering more than 11 million defective vehicles,” NHTSA said. FCA agreed to buy back nearly 200,000 trucks and SUVs for steering and axle problems. It also announced trade-in incentives for owners of 1993 to 1998 model-year Jeep Grand Cherokees that have faulty gas tanks.
Last week, FCA announced it was recalling a small number of 2015 Jeep Renegade SUVs -- a new Jeep product that just went on the market -- to update software that could allow hackers to remotely control critical vehicle functions.
The recall is an extension of one announced in July affecting 1.4 million Dodges, Jeeps, Rams and Chryslers after hackers proved they could do things like turn on a Jeep Cherokee's windshield wipers, take control of the volume settings and steer the Jeep into a ditch. The hackers had to physically access the vehicle’s hardware before they could perform the remote hacking experiment.