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Fiat Chrysler recalls nearly 300,000 Ram 1500 pickup trucks in the U.S.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is recalling 343,000 Ram 1500 trucks globally over a software issue that may result in airbags and seat belt pretensioners failing to activate in a collision.

The notice comes just three months after the automaker recalled 860,000 gas-powered vehicles comprised of various models because they failed to meet emissions standards.

This latest recall affects just over 295,000 certain model-year 2019 Ram 1500 trucks in the U.S., the company said on Friday. Around 38,000 Ram 1500 trucks are also being recalled in Canada, along with a further 8,000 in the rest of the world.

FCA said that a recent investigation conducted by the company discovered that some Ram vehicles “are equipped with occupant restraint control modules that may not properly reset when their engines are turned off. This software error may inadvertently disable airbags and seat belt pretensioners, making these devices unavailable in a collision.”

The automaker described the potential for something to go wrong as “highly remote,” adding that up to now it’s unaware of any reports of related injuries or accidents.

But it said it had decided to issue the recall “out of an abundance of caution” and urged affected customers to take their Ram pickup to the dealer when asked to do so.

The free fix is expected to become available before the end of June, and customers will be advised accordingly by FCA. After assessing each Ram truck, engineers will replace the control module or simply update the module’s software. Anyone with questions about the recall can call the company at 1-800-853-1403.

Strong performer

The Ram brand is a strong performer for FCA. In 2018, for example, sales of the truck hit a new annual record of 597,368 vehicles, helped mainly by sales of the Ram 1500, which increased by 15% year-on-year to 377,286 vehicles.

The Ram truck has found itself caught up in a number of recalls in recent years. In May 2018, for example, it was one of many FCA vehicles recalled to fix a potentially dangerous fault with its cruise control technology. And at the end of 2017, the company recalled 1.8 million Ram trucks after it was found they could be inadvertently moved out of the park position.

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Trevor Mogg
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