Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled about 25,000 2019 Fiat 500X and 2019 Jeep Renegade sub-compact SUV to fix an issue that could prevent their airbags from deploying correctly.
According to the information filed with the NHTSA and published last week, the 500X and Renegade could house bad software for the occupant restraint controller (ORC). A total 25,004 crossover SUVs are affected, nearly all of which are Jeep Renegades.
The faulty software could send bad signals to the ORC, which in turn, could "disable certain passive safety features," according to FCA. What exactly the ORC may shut off was not listed in the NHTSA filings, but passive safety is defined as baked-in elements, such as airbags and restraints. The problem arises after certain diagnostic tools are sent to the ORC. When the ORC sends the information back, the software's "special features/function configuration" memory could be incorrectly updated. The flaw may then shut off various passive safety features such as the airbags.
Without passive safety features working as intended, the risk and severity of injury increases.
For owners, the fix is simple. After receiving notification in the mail, an owner will be instructed to take his or her vehicle to a dealership where a technician will re-flash the ORC software with an updated version. The updated version will not cause any passive safety features to go dormant. FCA plans to notify owners of the recall starting May 30.