Land Rover Adds to Airbag Woes

logo-large-2xThe auto industry’s problems with defective airbags continue to persist and now Land Rover has added itself to the list of affected carmakers. The British manufacturer recently issued a recall order for over 40 thousand vehicles of the LR2 and Range Rover Evoke models. According to the firm, some Land Rover cars may suffer from faulty airbag sensors and the front passenger airbag system may fail to deploy in the event of an accident. Land Rover expects the issue to be solved through a simple, complimentary software update that drivers can have done at their local dealership.

Land Rover is a British auto manufacturer based in Coventry, UK. The company is currently owned by the Indian carmaker Tata Motors, which bought Land Rover from Ford Motor Company in June 2008. The British firm had issued several recalls in 2012 and 2013 for an estimated 10 thousand vehicles, the majority of which were called in for airbag defects. Specifically, three thousand 2011 LR2 and three thousand 2012 LR2 sports utility vehicles were recalled for faulty driver-side airbags, while another four thousand 2010 Range Rover models were recalled for a defective airbag indicator light.

This most recent recall order involves about 17,000 2010–2015 LR2s and 23,500 Range Rover Evoques. According to Land Rover, the issue is associated with the Occupant Classification System (OCS) Electronic Control Unit (ECU), which is a network of sensors which tells the vehicle’s computer whether there’s a person sitting in the passenger seat. The system replaces the manual on and off switches for airbags, with its principal function being distinguishing between an adult and a small child — in case of the latter, the OCS typically turns the airbag off.

In a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Land Rover stated that the OCS in some vehicles could send a signal to turn the passenger-side airbag off even when an actual adult passenger is sitting in the seat. The issue may be caused by a malfunctioning memory system, although a software algorithm was at fault in a similar airbag defect in the Chevrolet Impala, which was recalled in July 2014. The failure to deploy the airbag during a vehicular accident can result in an increased risk of serious injury. The British firm will contact affected drivers to inform them of the recall and will begin software upgrades on 30 August.

If you own a vehicle with a pending recall, it is important to take it to a local dealership to seek the necessary repairs. According to CarFax, there are roughly 36 million automobiles with at least one outstanding recall. Malfunctioning auto components can lead to serious personal injury, damages, and even death.

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