Ram 1500 Airbag/Seat Belt Glitch Comes Hot on the Heels of the Old Ram's Driveshaft Drop Recall

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ram 1500 airbag seat belt glitch comes hot on the heels of the old rams driveshaft

It’s a bad week for owners of current- and older-gen Ram pickups, assuming they’re safety conscious and have busy summer schedules. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles launched two recalls this week targeting its full-size trucks; the latest being a voluntary callback of nearly 343,000 2019 and 2020 Ram 1500s over a software glitch that could disable airbags and seat belt pretensioners.

Then there’s the voluntary recall of old-gen Ram 1500s from the 2018 and 2019 model years (Ram “Classic” for 2019) that could drop their driveshaft while driving.

First, the airbags. According to documents sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Fiat Chrysler claims, “The flash memory of the Occupant Restraint Controller

(ORC) may become corrupted, disabling the vehicle’s air bags and seat belt pretensioners.”

ORCs with updated software came online within the last couple of months, so not that many 2020 Rams contain the potential glitch. The recalls covers 295,981 Ram 1500s sold in the United States.

“Once the vehicle is keyed-off, the ORC begins normal routines under its own power reserve. If the ORC powers down and interrupts a memory erase process, data corruption could occur,” FCA stated. “Memory cleanup does not occur every key-off, not all interruptions will cause corruption, reserve time will vary, and other factors make the occurrence highly variable.”

Recall notices should hit mailboxes around July 20th, with owners reimbursed for any expenses incurred by the fix. As of May 20th, there are no known incidents associated with the issue.

As for the old-gen Ram, which FCA keeps around because why not, a less-than-ideal weld is the culprit in the driveshaft recall. On 10,160 2018-2019 Ram 1500s, a weld between the driveshaft tube and tub yoke may fracture, leading the truck to grow a tail that scrapes along the roadway. It goes without saying that drivers may notice a sudden loss of power.

The driveshaft recall came after six warranty claims sparked an investigation, though FCA says it is not aware of any injuries or accidents stemming from the problem. Recall notices should arrive in mid-June.

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Gasser Gasser on Jun 08, 2019

    In May I got a new CUV. I originally wanted a Honda CRV EX-L, but the problems with the 1.5T scared me off. The best part of Hondas used to be, no problems. The second best was the resale. I don’t foresee either advantage for the new CRV turbos.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Jun 10, 2019

    I wonder who the driveshaft assembly supplier is? Dana-Spicer?

  • BEPLA My own theory/question on the Mark VI:Had Lincoln used the longer sedan wheelbase on the coupe - by leaning the windshield back and pushing the dashboard & steering wheel rearward a bit - not built a sedan - and engineered the car for frameless side windows (those framed windows are clunky, look cheap, and add too many vertical lines in comparison to the previous Marks) - Would the VI have remained an attractive, aspirational object of desire?
  • VoGhost Another ICEbox? Pass. Where are you going to fill your oil addiction when all the gas stations disappear for lack of demand? I want a pickup that I can actually use for a few decades.
  • Art Vandelay Best? PCH from Ventura to somewhere near Lompoc. Most Famous? Route Irish
  • GT Ross The black wheel fad cannot die soon enough for me.
  • Brett Woods My 4-Runner had a manual with the 4-cylinder. It was acceptable but not really fun. I have thought before that auto with a six cylinder would have been smoother, more comfortable, and need less maintenance. Ditto my 4 banger manual Japanese pick-up. Nowhere near as nice as a GM with auto and six cylinders that I tried a bit later. Drove with a U.S. buddy who got one of the first C8s. He said he didn't even consider a manual. There was an article about how fewer than ten percent of buyers optioned a manual in the U.S. when they were available. Visited my English cousin who lived in a hilly suburb and she had a manual Range Rover and said she never even considered an automatic. That's culture for you.  Miata, Boxster, Mustang, Corvette and Camaro; I only want manual but I can see both sides of the argument for a Mustang, Camaro or Challenger. Once you get past a certain size and weight, cruising with automatic is a better dynamic. A dual clutch automatic is smoother, faster, probably more reliable, and still allows you to select and hold a gear. When you get these vehicles with a high performance envelope, dual-clutch automatic is what brings home the numbers.