Dodge Viper air bags may deploy unexpectedly

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US is recalling certain 2005-2006 Dodge Viper vehicles. Affected vehicles may deploy their air bags  and/or seat belt pretensioners without warning due to a defect in the Occupant Restraint Control (ORC). 

The potential number of vehicles affected is 3329.

The Defect

The Occupant Restraint Control, which was made for Chrysler by ZF (TRW), may inadvertently deploy the vehicle’s air bags and/or seat belt pretensioners. The unexpected deployment of either air bags or seat belt pretensioners may cause injury or a vehicle crash. In addition, the defect may cause increased the risk of an accident because the air bag warning light may not precede an inadvertent deployment of the air bag or the seat belt pretensioners.   

The defect occurred in vehicles that were manufactured from May 18, 2004, when production of the 2005 MY Dodge Viper began, until August 28, 2006, when production ended. FCA used vehicle production records to identify affected vehicles. 

Timeline Of Events

On January 27, 2015, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) informed the National Highway Transportation Administration that they would be doing a voluntary recall of certain 2002-2003 Jeep Liberty, 2002-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2003-2004 MY Dodge Viper vehicles. Each of the models had an issue with the Occupant Restraint Control, which was replaced in the affected vehicles. On January 28, 2019, an Occupant Restraint Control issue also occurred on a 2005 MY Dodge Viper in the field. The incident involved both passenger and driver air bags deploying without warning or an accident. The incident was reported as a Customer Assistance Inquiry Record (CAIR) by Fiat Chrysler. On October 2, 2019, Chrysler participated in an inspection of the reported vehicle that showed electrical overstress to one of the application specific integrated circuits controlling the air bag squibs, the same issue that occurred in Chrysler’s 2015 recall.

On December 5, 2019, Fiat Chrysler US’s Vehicle Regulations Committee decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall of the affected vehicles. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is aware of one injury that was related to the issue.       

The Solution

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is conducting a voluntary safety recall to replace the Occupant Restraint Control in all affected vehicles.The current model of ORC will be replaced with a new one that uses the next generation of electrical architecture and does not have a history of unexpected air bag deployment.

According to Fiat Chrysler, both dealers and owners will be notified either on or around January 31, 2020. Owners should take their vehicles to a certified Fiat Chrysler dealer. Owners of recalled vehicles can seek reimbursement from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. To ensure a smooth reimbursement process, FCA requests that owners send in either an original receipt or another adequate proof of payment. FCA will make this request formally in their recall letters to owners.   

Dealers are required by federal law to complete the recall service on vehicles that are still in the dealer’s new vehicle inventory. Failure to do so could result in a  $21,000 civil penalty for each incomplete vehicle. A stop sale is currently in effect. 

Owners can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to

Sean ReyesDodge Viper air bags may deploy unexpectedly

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