FCA Recalls Ram Pickups for Unsafe Airbags, Seat belts

AutoInformed,com on 2019 RAM Pickup

More computer errors – flash memory that in a flash is gone.

Chrysler (FCA US) is recalling 295,981 2019-2020 Ram 1500 vehicles. The flash memory of the Occupant Restraint Controller (ORC) may become corrupted, disabling the vehicle’s air bags and seat belt pretensioners.

Some of the Ram pickups may have been built with an Occupant Restraint Controller (ORC) containing software that has a potential vulnerability during power-down memory clean-up events which can corrupt flash memory. Corrupted ORC flash memory may result in internal fault codes, illuminated Airbag Warning Lamp, and disabled deployment of airbags and pretensioners.

Disabled airbag and pretensioner deployment may increase the risk of injury to vehicle occupants in the event of a crash.

Chrysler will notify owners, and dealers will reprogram the ORC or replace it as necessary, free of charge as required by US law. The recall is expected to begin 20 July 2019. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s numbers for this recall are V61 and V71.

Once the vehicle is keyed-off, the ORC begins normal routines under its own power reserve. If the ORC powers down and interrupts a memory erase process, data corruption could occur. Memory cleanup does not occur every key-off, not all interruptions will cause corruption, reserve time will vary, and other factors make the occurrence highly variable. 

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153) or go to www.safercar.gov.

Chronology

  • On April 8, 2019, FCA US LLC (“FCA US”) Engineering notified FCA US Vehicle Safety and Regulatory Compliance (“VSRC”) of a potential power down corruption software issue in some ORCs on 2019-2020 MY Ram 1500 vehicles.
  • From April 8, 2019 through May 3, 2019, FCA US Engineering and VSRC analyzed the issue, and confirmed that disabled airbag and seatbelt pretensioner deployment was a potential consequence.
  • During the week of May 6, 2019, FCA US Engineering and VSRC conducted read-across activities and confirmed the scope of the issue.
  • As of May 20, 2019, FCA US identified approximately 0 CAIRs, 0 VOQs and 0 field reports related to this issue.
  • As of May 20, 2019, total warranty is 13 at .038c/1000.
  • As of May 20, 2019, FCA US is unaware of any accidents or injuries potentially related to this issue.
  • On May 23, 2019, FCA US determined, through the Vehicle Regulations Committee.

About Kenneth Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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