Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is issuing a vehicle defect recall for 1.3 million vehicles worldwide in two separate campaigns for possible fire risks and inadvertent airbag deployments. According to a CNBC news report, the automaker is recalling about 770,000 SUVs because of a wiring issue that could cause the driver-side airbag to suddenly deploy without warning. So far, this defect has been linked to five injuries, but no crashes.
What the Recall Entails
Company officials say the wiring could chafe against pieces of steering wheel trim, potentially causing a short circuit and lead to inadvertent airbag deployment. This problem could also cause unintended windshield wiper operation or inoperable switches. The recall covers 538,000 2011-2015 Dodge Journey vehicles in North America and about 233,000 2011-2015 Fiat Freemont crossovers sold elsewhere. When the recall begins, dealers will examine and replace the wiring as needed and install additional protective covering – all at no cost to consumers.
In addition to these vehicles, Fiat Chrysler is also recalling 565,000 vehicles to replace alternators due to fire risks. In these vehicles, hot ambient temperatures could lead to premature diode wear resulting in a burning odor or smoke, affecting the anti-lock braking system. This could also lead to the engine stalling. So far, the company has been informed of two related accidents, but no injuries. This recall covers 2011-2014 model year Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger cars and Dodge Durango SUVs and 2012-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.
Both inadvertent airbag deployments and fire dangers present serious risks to consumers in terms of potential injuries and fatalities. When an airbag deploys inadvertently, there is the possibility of the driver losing control of the vehicle and crashing it. In addition, the airbag may deploy with such potential force that it could result in serious injuries to the face or torso. Fire risks can present dangers to individuals and property and could cause serious burn injuries.
Automakers have a responsibility to manufacture vehicles that are safe for consumers. When an accident or injury occurs as a result of a vehicle defect, affected victims can file an auto product liability lawsuit seeking compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced Sacramento auto defect lawyer can help victims and their families better understand their legal rights and options. Call the Demas Law Group P.C., at (916) 444-0100 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.