Land Rover to Recall 61,793 Vehicles for Air Bag Software

Jaguar Land Rover North America will recall more than 61,000 vehicles after finding that some passenger-side air bags may not open on impact because of faulty software.

The company will recall 61,793 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models manufactured from 2012 to 2015, according to a statement posted on the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website. Owners will be alerted about the recall, which is expected to begin April 17, and dealers will update the software free of charge.

“Every effort will be made to minimize inconvenience to the customer during the short time required for the work to be carried out,” Stuart Schorr, a company spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.

The defect stems from the vehicle’s occupant classification system, which engages the air bag when it senses a passenger’s presence. The software improperly reads some lightweight adult passengers as children and fails to engage the air bag, according to the statement. No accidents or injuries have been linked to the defect, according to a separate document on the NHTSA’s website.

Air bag recalls have plagued the industry since last year. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. recalled 2.1 million vehicles in January because of air bags that could go off while driving.

Air-Bag Recall

Some of those cars were being recalled again after last year’s massive 10-automaker recall of Takata Corp. air bags over complaints that inflators could explode and send shrapnel at drivers and passengers. The defects have led to recalls of more than 20 million vehicles and a fifth U.S. fatality from such incidents was linked to Honda in January.

It’s the biggest challenge to the technology since the mid-1990s, when NHTSA began investigating reports that first-generation air bags deployed with such force that children and small adults riding in front seats were being killed and, in some cases, decapitated.

The recall is at least the second this month for Jaguar Land Rover North America, a unit of the British luxury sports-car brand owned by Tata Motors Ltd. A Feb. 7 notice said the company would recall as many as 104,000 cars after NHTSA published three notices that highlighted issues that could lead to faulty braking and lighting.

In the U.S., once a manufacturer or the NHTSA determines a vehicle is defective, the automaker will usually agree to voluntarily issue a recall and to fix the defect for free. All the owner has to do is take it to a dealership affiliated with the manufacturer.

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