The order applies to Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Dodge Magnum models from 2005 to 2010.
The greatest remembrance in history still demands lives
It’s a problem you’ve probably heard about before. But it could also be an issue you haven’t dealt with in your car.
The warning is the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of the largest recall in automotive history.
The Takata airbag recall began in 2013 and included vehicles made by 34 factories and sold on at least five continents. The federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says at least 67 million vehicles on U.S. roads carried the deadly parts when dealers first sold them.
Grenade in the steering wheel
An airbag inflator is a small metal capsule that contains chemicals that combine to form a rapidly expanding gas. In the event of an accident, the inflator is supposed to blow this gas out of the nozzle, quickly inflating the folded airbag so that it can protect the occupants from hitting the collapsed car parts.
Some Takata inflators can explode under pressure rather than pushing the gas out of the nozzle as designed. Their capsule sometimes explodes under the sudden force of a chemical reaction. This can send hot metal shards flying into the cabin like shrapnel.
Takata has supplied most of the global auto industry with inflators.
According to the Associated Press, the phenomenon has killed at least 32 people worldwide and 23 in the United States, and at least three deaths have occurred this year, most recently in Chrysler or Dodge vehicles. The Associated Press says another death in a Chrysler or Dodge is still under investigation.
Not just a Chrysler, a Dodge problem
That latest warning comes from Chrysler, Dodge and parent company Stellantis. However, most automakers that have sold cars in America since 1998 have recalled the cars due to a Takata airbag problem. They can all do the free repair.
The danger increases with time
The chemicals in Takata blowers degrade over time, increasing the risk of an explosion. “Every day that passes when a recovery airbag is not replaced puts you and your family at risk of injury or death,” said Ann Carlson, acting NHTSA administrator.
Repair is free
The fix to eliminate risks is simple and free. Dealers will remove your vehicle’s Takata airbag inflator and replace it with another brand. Almost every dealership in the United States can perform service in less than an hour and without any fees.
In a statement, Stellantis said its dealers have enough replacement air blowers to repair every one of their vehicles.
17 million still drive with them
NHTSA believes that of the 67 million U.S. cars covered by the recall, 50 million were repaired. This leaves up to 17 million drivers at risk. The NHTSA warns that “even minor collisions can cause airbags to explode, which can kill or cause life-altering injuries.”
How to tell if your car needs recall repairs
Automakers have been communicating with owners to warn them about the recall for years. Stellantis says it has sent “approximately 210 million standard and first class letters, courier deliveries, emails, and texts, while making phone calls and home visits,” requiring owners to bring in their cars for free repair.
But inevitably, some owners slip through the cracks. If you’ve moved elsewhere since you bought your car, or if you bought your used car, they may not have the information they need to get to you.
Last year, the NHTSA confirmed another airbag-related death of a man who received more than 100 notices to bring in his car for a new, free inflation.
Check if your vehicle has any pending recalls using the easy VIN tool in our recall center.
Vehicle owners who prefer to speak directly to the manufacturer can phone the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Takata Call Center at 833-585-0144 or go to the website. For information on Takata from other car manufacturers, please check here.