Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling 2016 and 2017 Jeep Wrangler vehicles to address a problem that could prevent the SUV's airbags from deploying during a collision.
The problem stems from a wiring flaw associated with the vehicle's front impact sensor. Documents from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explain that "Under certain crash conditions, rotation of the headlamp can cause the sensor wiring to pull and detach from the front impact sensor before a signal is recorded by the Occupant Restraint Controller...."
Without that signal, the Wrangler's Occupant Restraint Controller doesn't know to activate safety features like the frontal airbags and seatbelt pretensioners. That, in turn, could dramatically boost the risk of injury to occupants during a crash.
FCA discovered the flaw during in-house tests. The automaker says that it has received no reports of complaints, accidents, or injuries associated with the problem.
The recall includes 2016 and 2017 Jeep Wrangler vehicles manufactured between June 16, 2015, to August 14, 2016. All told, the recall affects 224,789 vehicles: 182,743 registered in the U.S., 18,011 in Canada, 3,087 in Mexico, and 20,948 elsewhere. FCA notes that all 2017 models are still in the automaker's possession.
FCA hasn't yet settled on a fix for the problem, but a statement from the company says that it will be available very soon and will involve rerouting the affected wiring. Repairs will be conducted at no charge to owners.
If you believe that you own one of these vehicles, you're encouraged to contact FCA customer service at 1-800-853-1403 and ask about recall S76. You can also call NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #16V734000.