Off-roading them might exacerbate the problem.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling 392,464 examples of the 2007-2010 Jeep Wrangler and 7,435 units of the right-hand drive 2011-2016 Wrangler in the country because the driver's airbag might not deploy in a crash. The safety campaign also affects 35,412 vehicles in Canada, 8,529 of them in Mexico, and 62,580 outside the NAFTA region.
According to FCA U.S, there's a clockspring in the steering wheel, and the component is part of the electrical circuit that controls the airbag. The company finds that exposure to excessive dust and dirt "consistent with extensive off-road driving or driving with a vehicle’s top and/or doors removed" can damage the clockspring. If this happens, the driver's airbag might not open in a collision.
Wrangler owners are well known for being off-road enthusiasts, but the company indicates if a model has this problem the airbag warning light would illuminate. "If such an event occurs, customers are advised to contact their dealers," FCA U.S. says in its statement.
To fix this problem, dealers will install new parts for the back cover of the steering wheel and steering-column shroud. FCA U.S. will contact the affected owners soon to schedule the service. The automaker reports it is "unaware any potentially related injuries or accidents."
Source: FCA U.S.
Gallery: All-new 2007 Jeep Wrangler
Located in a vehicle’s steering wheel, a clockspring forms part of the circuit that helps control airbag function. An investigation by FCA US determined excessive exposure to dust and dirt – consistent with extensive off-road driving or driving with a vehicle’s top and/or doors removed – may compromise the clockspring and eventually prevent driver-side airbag deployment in a crash.
If this condition is present, the airbag warning-lamp will be illuminated. If such an event occurs, customers are advised to contact their dealers.
The Company is unaware any potentially related injuries or accidents.
Affected by this campaign are model-year 2007-2010 Jeep Wrangler SUVs. An additional 7,435 model-year 2011-2016 vehicles equipped with right-hand drive for special duty also are affected in the U.S.
Vehicles affected outside the U.S. comprise an estimated 35,412 in Canada; 8,529 in Mexico and 62,580 outside the NAFTA region. Customers will be advised when they may schedule service, which includes installation of a new steering-wheel back cover and a steering-column shroud.
Customers with questions may call the FCA US Customer Care Center at 1-800-853-1403.