Stellantis is recalling 212,373 Ram vehicles over issues relating to the side-mounted airbag inflators. Relevant safety reports were filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration earlier in the month and describe circumstances somewhat similar to the nightmare that preceded the Takata airbag recall. Inflator components exposed to moisture may have a tendency to lose components or outright rupture, potentially spraying the interior with metal fragments.
The Ram inflators are believed to have been exposed to unnecessary levels of moisture during the manufacturing process, resulting in a weakening of the materials under pressure. FCA US (which is the name used on the NHTSA report, rather than the global Stellantis) started an investigation in December of 2020 after it had determined some pickups had been installed with side-curtain airbags with defective inflators. The company traced the issue all the way back to the 2015 model year.
While the manufacturer believes only about 22 percent of the recalled units were affected. It’s still issuing a rather sizable recall campaign for certain Ram 1500 Classic (2015-2020), Ram 3500 (2015-2016) and Ram 2500, and Ram 3500 Cab Chassis (2016) pickups.
Considering Takata inflators killed at least 28 people globally, with hundreds more injured, Ram would be wise to nip this in the bud. Side-curtain airbag regulations already killed the Dodge Viper and that’s a price Mopar fans shouldn’t have had to pay. Chucking in safety systems that are actually dangerous would be truly egregious, particularly because the industry just had one of those and it turned out to be the largest recall campaign in automotive history.
Thankfully, FCA US says it’s unaware of any accidents or injuries stemming from the defect and seems eager to get those units out of its vehicles before that changes. Thus far, reports only have a single pickup suffering a full-blown rupture — which undoubtedly encouraged the recall.
The campaign will involve inspections to assess whether or not the relevant parts have taken any damage and to replace them as needed. While you’re welcome to contact your dealer now, the official campaign will commence at the start of October when Stellantis notifies service centers and customers by mail.
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