Ram trucks recalled after reports of faulty airbags, hurling shrapnel

Ram trucks recalled after reports of faulty airbags, hurling shrapnel
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Stellantis, formerly known as Fiat Chrysler, said Friday it was recalling more than 266,000 of its pickup trucks in North America and other markets following a probe that found some vehicles may have faulty airbags that, if exploded, could hurl shrapnel toward passengers.

The vehicle manufacturer said in a statement that the recall includes Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks from the 2015 to 2020 model years, as well as some previous generation 1500 pickup trucks. Stellantis said the current-generation Ram 1500 truck is not affected by the recall. 

The move follows an investigation that “discovered certain vehicles may be equipped with air-bag inflators that were contaminated by moisture during the supplier’s manufacturing process,” the company said.

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“Such inflators may rupture, even without air-bag deployment, possibly sending debris into the cabin,” Stellantis added. 

The manufacturer said it had received a single report of an airbag rupture in one of its vehicles, and it was not aware of any injuries. 

The recall includes about 212,373 vehicles in the U.S. market, an estimated 42,532 in Canada and 3,802 in Mexico, Stellantis said. 

More than 4,500 vehicles in certain markets outside North America are also impacted by the recall. 

“As with all safety recalls, service will be provided free of charge,” Stellantis said, adding, “affected customers will be advised when they may schedule service.” 

Stellantis noted that the inflators were made by the same supplier involved in another automaker recall. 

While Stellantis did not mention the other auto manufacturer by name, General Motors announced last month that it was recalling more than 400,000 of its vehicles due to concerns about a similar issue of airbags randomly rupturing and potentially spewing debris over the cabin. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said at the time that it had received reports of three incidents, two in Texas and one in Florida, involving faulty airbags in which “the steel inflator-body sidewall split open, suddenly releasing the gas stored inside the chamber.” 

The NHTSA said that each of the three incidents occurred while the vehicles were “unoccupied and not in use.”