Steering column wiring harness can become clogged with dirt, stopping airbag deployment

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling nearly 500,000 Jeep Wrangler JKs for an issue with its airbag deployment. According to the automaker, the clockspring wiring connector inside the steering column can become clogged with dirt, leading to the driver’s side airbag failing to deploy.

Thankfully no injuries or accidents have been reported.

FCA says the issue is especially prone to happen on Wrangler’s that see extended off-roading with their tops or doors removed. An illuminated airbag warning light is a telltale sign of an issue, though is not a definitive sign either way.

The recall specifically covers 392,464 U.S.-based Wranglers from the 2007-2010 model years and 7,435 right-hand-drive postal service Wranglers from 2011-2016. Outside the U.S., another 35,412 Wranglers in Canada, 8,529 Wranglers in Mexico, and 62,580 Wranglers outside North America are said to be affected.

The clockspring wiring connector allows for a continuously wired connection despite the turning of the steering wheel. The ribbon-style harness controls everything from the horn and steering wheel controls, to the airbag.

Like with any recall, Wrangler owners are strongly encouraged to have the problem fixed at their local dealership. Owners can search or with their VIN to check whether their specific vehicle is involved in the recall. Of course, any repairs done under recall are free to the owner.

Continue reading for more information

Why It Matters

Recalls are a big deal as they directly pertain to the safety of the occupants. Failing to have a recall service completed is downright negligent on the owner’s part, so please do the research. It’s sad how many injuries or deaths can be avoided by simply addressing the issue. The recent Takata airbag scandal is easily one of the best examples, with folks still dying months after the recall was announced.

Ranting aside, this recall, while relatively small, is a big deal for Wrangler owners. Though the recall doesn’t affect every Wrangler JK on the road, it does cover a good number of them. FCA has not released its remedy to fix the problem.

Jeep Wrangler

2012 Jeep Wrangler High Resolution Exterior
- image 413443

Read our full review on the Jeep Wrangler here.

Source: FCA

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read More
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