Chrysler has issued a recall for select 2014 and 2015 models of the Fiat 500L. According to a bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some of those vehicles may contain faulty airbags.
Specifically, the company that manufactured the driver's knee airbag folded the bag improperly. As you might imagine, airbags have to be folded and positioned in a very precise way to ensure that they deploy quickly and effectively during an accident. Because these weren't, their ability to protect Fiat drivers may be compromised, increasing the risk of injury during a collision.
The issue only occurs in the case of an un-belted occupant. To date, the automaker has received no complaints about the issue, and no accidents or injuries have been reported.
And for the record, the airbags in question weren't manufactured by Takata, the Japanese firm responsible for at least eight deaths and more than 12 million recalls over the past couple of years. No, Fiat's were built by TRW Automotive in Poland.
The recall includes only those models of the 500L that were built between March 3, 2012 and July 25, 2014. All told, the recall affects some 25,483 vehicles registered in the U.S.
Chrysler says that it will begin notifying owners of the recall before the end of this month. Once owners receive an official recall notice, they'll be able to take their 500Ls to a Fiat dealer, who will replace the driver's knee air bag, free of charge.
If you own one of the affected vehicles and have further questions, you're encouraged to contact Chrysler customer service at 800-853-1403 and ask about recall P42. Or, if you prefer, you can ring NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and inquire about safety campaign #14V481000.