Chrysler Group is recalling 29,500 Fiat 500L cars from the 2014-2015 model years to replace knee airbags that may not deploy in the correct position if the driver is not wearing a seatbelt. The company says in a statement that the bags may not inflate in the proper position if the driver isn’t wearing a seat belt. Chrysler says it doesn’t know of any injuries from the problem.
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The issue was discovered when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducted a 25 mile-per-hour crash test on a “fifth percentile female” not wearing a seat belt in a 2014 model year Fiat 500L at a research facility.
According to the report, the test showed that the driver right femur load didn’t meet the minimum injury criteria, prompting the automaker to launch an investigation into the issue. It showed that the driver’s knee air bag of the FIAT 500L may not deploy in the proper position to protect fully the knees of an unbelted driver, a company spokesman said. Those air bags are touchy and the software used to deploy air bags can be trickier. Even not wearing a seat belt can have an effect on air bag deployment
There have been no injuries reported due to this issue, which affects vehicles from model years 2014 and 2015. Of the nearly 30,000 vehicles covered in this recall, 25,500 come from the US market, while the remaining 4,000 are from Canada. It is not clear what the underlying cause of this issue is.
Dealers will replace the driver’s side knee air bags at no cost to owners. Chrysler says it will notify owners when parts are available. In the meantime, they should wear seat belts so the bags work properly. Chrysler Fiat dealerships will provide a free replacement airbag.
Source: Zeigler FIAT