Models 2014 and 2015 Jeep Cherokee SUVs have officially been recalled as a result of premature deployment of side airbags. In all fairness, it is quite likely that the risk of a side airbag deploying prematurely is minimal. While there have been some inadvertent airbag deployment when no car accident occurred, the risk to the public is minimal. This is because it takes an extreme turn to provide the airbags to deploy. At issue is the fact the side airbags were designed to deploy as the vehicle is about to rollover. This way the occupants are protected against impact injury before the vehicle actually flips or rolls.
The recall will update the system software that controls the seat-mounted side airbags and the side-curtain. In all, 228,000 vehicles are affected by the recall. The automobile industry has been quick to err on the side of caution after General Motors (GM) delayed recalls of key vehicles for several years only to later recall those models by the millions amid intense criticism. The threshold for airbag deployment will be recalibrated so as to withstand more extreme turns without engaging. It is estimated that 19,557 of the popular SUVs sold in Canada will be part of the recall.
Below is the full press release:
Statement: Restraint-System Software Upgrade
February 2, 2015 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – FCA US LLC is launching a global recall of an estimated 228,181 SUVs to upgrade software governing side-curtain and seat-mounted side air bags.
The action follows an investigation by FCA US engineers after a small number of inadvertent deployments involving drivers who executed extreme maneuvers. These maneuvers dramatically changed the vehicles’ angle of operation, relative to the ground.
The air-bag systems, sensing potential rollovers, automatically activated. FCA US is unaware of any related injuries or accidents.
The software upgrade will recalibrate the threshold for deployment and the vehicles will remain compliant with all applicable safety regulations.
Affected are certain 2014 and 2015 Jeep Cherokees. Estimated volumes by market are as follows: 168,092 in the U.S.; 19,557 in Canada; 4,133 in Mexico and 36,399 outside the NAFTA region.
The Company will notify affected customers. Software will be available at that time.
Customers with additional concerns or questions may call 1-800-853-1403.