Fiat Chrysler on Friday (12 May) announced a massive recall of its pickup trucks worldwide over a software error.
The recall, starting in June, affects 1.02 million 2013-16 Ram 1500 and 2500 pickups; 2014-2016 Ram 3500 pickups in the US; 216,007 vehicles in Canada; 21,668 in Mexico and 21,530 outside the Nafta (North American Free Trade Agreement) region.
In a statement, the company said it will reprogram computer modules to help control restrain-system deployment in rollover situations in affected vehicles.
Investigation by Chrysler suggests the faulty code could potentially disable side air bag and deployment of seat belt pretensioners during the vehicle rollover, due to significant underbody impact. The pretensioner basically reduces seat belt slack during impact, which in turn reduces forward movement of the occupant's head and torso.
The company said it was aware of one fatality, two injuries and two incidents that could be related to the software error.
The company urged affected customers to follow instructions on their recall notices. It also urged customers to use seat belts while riding the vehicle.
Fiat Chrysler told the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it began investigating the issue last December after receiving notice of a lawsuit related to a 2014 Ram 1500 model, in which the airbag failed to deploy during a rollover crash, suggests a Reuters report.
Apart from Fiat Chrysler, there are other car makers that announced recalls for a similar software defect. General Motors recalled about 4.3 million vehicles worldwide due to a software issue that could prevent air bags from deploying during a crash.