FCA expands Jeep Cherokee airbag recall

The company is reacting to inadvertent deployment of side airbags, mostly occurring during harsh off-road driving.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has expanded its recall for the Jeep Cherokee to fix a problem with the airbag system.

The company began logging the first problems early last year, when side curtain and seat-mounted side airbags inadvertently deployed in several vehicles in Dubai, at a press event in Italy and at the company's Jeep Territory off-road test-drive course in Moscow. Another deployment occurred at a 4x4 event in Moab, Utah.

Engineering analysis determined that some of the vehicles had deployed the airbags after the occupant-restraint control (ORC) module determined that the vehicle had crossed the rollover-protection threshold. The Cherokee "was experiencing more angle on off-road events than previously seen on other Jeep vehicles."

After matching ORC part numbers to individual VINs, the company accidentally omitted approximately 62,000 vehicles from the original recall issued several months ago. The error was discovered after a vehicle experienced the condition but was not included in the initial recall population.

"The campaign will upgrade software that governs side-curtain and seat-mounted side air bags following a small number of inadvertent deployments - most of which occurred in harsh, off-road environments," the company said in a statement. "They were prompted by maneuvers that dramatically changed the vehicles' angle of operation, relative to the ground, and the air-bag systems - sensing potential rollover conditions - automatically activated."

The issue is being resolved via a software update.

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