Fiat Chrysler Recalls 1.3 Million Vehicles for Fire Risks and Airbag Defects
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced that it is issuing an auto defect recall for 1.3 million vehicles worldwide in two separate campaigns – one for potential fire risks and the other for inadvertent airbag deployments. According to a CNBC news report, the Italian automaker said it is recalling approximately 770,000 SUVs due to a wiring issue that could lead to the driver-side airbags suddenly deploying and is linked to reports of five injuries.
Details of the Recall
The company said wiring could chafe against pieces of steering wheel trim, causing a short circuit and inadvertent airbag deployment. The same issue could also cause unintended windshield wiper operation or inoperable switches. The recall covers 538 2011-2015 Dodge Journey vehicles in North America and 233,000 2011-2015 Fiat Freemont crossovers sold elsewhere. Dealers will inspect and replace the wiring as needed and give the vehicles additional protective covering.
The other recall includes 565,000 vehicles whose alternators need to be replaced because of fire risks. The company says hot temperatures could lead to premature diode wear, which could result in smoke, fire or could affect the anti-lock braking system or even lead to engine stalls.
The company says two related accidents have been reported, but no injuries. The recall includes 2011-2014 model year Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger cars and Dodge Durango SUVs and 2012-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. In October, Fiat Chrysler recalled 86,000 vehicles for the same alternator issue. The automaker said at the time that one injury was linked to that recall.
If You Have Been Affected
These are indeed serious safety defects that have the potential to cause serious if not fatal injuries. When an airbag deploys without warning, vehicle occupants could be injured just because of the force with which the airbag deploys. There is also a crash risk because the driver is caught off-guard by the sudden airbag deployment. It goes without saying that when a vehicle catches fire or stalls during operation, there is the risk of a crash and potentially serious injuries.
If you have one of these recalled vehicles, it is important that you take your vehicle to the dealer and have the necessary repairs made. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of these or other vehicle defects, contact an experienced auto product liability attorney who has successfully handled similar cases and fought against large automakers on behalf of injured victims and their families.