By Jay Ramey, Crain News Service
DETROIT (Feb. 5, 2015) — Some 228,181 Jeep Cherokee SUVs from the 2014 and 2015 model years are being recalled to fix software that controls side-curtain and seat-mounted side airbags.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) said there have been several inadvertent deployments but no crashes.
The culprit is the calibration of the software designed to automatically trigger airbags in the event of a rollover — more precisely, before the rollover occurs. The airbags in question are designed to deploy before the side of the SUV hits the ground as the vehicle is rolling.
FCA revealed in a written statement that inadvertent deployments of the airbags were triggered by “drivers who executed extreme maneuvers. These maneuvers dramatically changed the vehicles' angle of operation, relative to the ground.”
The fix will involve recalibrating the threshold for the deployment of the side-curtain and seat-mounted side airbags in the Cherokee, though the recalibration will keep the SUVs compliant with side airbag safety regulations.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not yet posted a recall notice on its website, http://www.nhtsa.gov/ though one is expected within days. FCA will then contact owners of the affected Cherokee vehicles, 168,092 of which have been sold in the U.S. market. The remaining Cherokee SUVs affected by this recall include 19,557 sold in Canada and 4,133 examples sold in Mexico, with the remainder sold in other markets.
FCA said Jeep Cherokee owners can contact the company directly about the recall, or any other concerns, at 800-853-1403.
This report appeared on the website of Autoweek, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.