September 10, 2015 - 6:30 PM
DETROIT - Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than 250,000 trucks sold in Canada to deal with problems that may affect driver-side airbag deployment and steering in Ram pickups and Chassis Cabs.
In one of several announcements Thursday, Fiat Chrysler says 235,925 trucks in Canada are part of a global recall of more than 1.3 million vehicles to inspect and service a steering wheel harness that can become worn and cause inadvertent air bag deployment on the drivers side.
The company said it was aware of two related injuries, but no accidents. It says 1.06 million of the vehicles covered by that recall were sold in the United States.
In another recall, to inspect and service bracket welds that may reduce steering response, affects nearly 193,600 vehicles worldwide including 20,603 in Canada.
A third recall, of 188,000 trucks in the United States, is to ensure side-curtain air bags comply with U.S. regulations to reduce the risk of an occupant being ejected during a rollover. It affects Ram 1500 Quad Cab pickups from 2014 and 2015.
The biggest of the recalls affects Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks and 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs. All are from the 2012 through 2014 model years. That recall includes more than one million trucks in the United States.
Fiat Chrysler says a company investigation found that some trucks may have steering wheel wires that can wear due to contact with a spring. That can cause a short circuit that could make the driver's side air bags inflate without a crash.
The company says it knows of two injuries caused by the problem but no crashes. It says an analysis of warranty data found that less than 1 per cent of trucks repaired for the problem had air bags that inflated without a crash.
In some affected trucks, an air bag warning light will come on before there's a problem.
Dealers will inspect each vehicle, tie off the wiring harness and install protective caps on the springs. The company is now mailing notices to owners telling them about the recall.
The the steering-related recall affects certain 2013 Ram 3500 pickups, 2014 Ram 2500/3500 pickups and 3500 Chassis Cabs.
An investigation by the company discovered certain supplied steering components may have welds with insufficient fusion. This may lead to separation. It says there could be diminished steering response.
Ram pickups have been recalled frequently in recent years. The 2014 Ram 1500, for instance, has been recalled nine times. It's the company's top-selling model in the U.S.
The number is unusually high and an indication of quality control problems, said Clarence Ditlow, head of the Center for Auto Safety, a non-profit advocacy group.
Fiat Chrysler said the 2014 Ram was well received by customers and contributed to the pickup truck's 24 per cent sales gain over 2013.
— with files from The Associated Press
News from © The Canadian Press, 2015