Fiat Chrysler is recalling 295,981 Ram pickups in the United States because their airbags and seatbelt pretensioners may be deactivated in a crash, according to the company and filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The defect is in every Ram 1500 built through April 29, 2019, the date after which FCA updated software for the start of 2020 production. The problem lies in the occupant restraint controller, which is the main processing unit that decides whether or not to deploy the airbags and pretensioners in an accident. When the driver shuts off the truck, the controller may power off too soon during a "memory cleanup"—not much different than how your home computer clears its memory during shutdown—which can permanently corrupt the controller. When that happens, an airbag light can illuminate, all sorts of fault codes can generate, and at worst, the truck's airbags and pretensioners won't work.
A corrupted computer module in nearly 300,000 2019 Ram 1500 trucks means airbags and seatbelt pretensioners may not work in a crash.
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