scorecardSome Dodge and Chrysler drivers have been told not to drive their cars after faulty airbags caused three deaths in 7 months
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Some Dodge and Chrysler drivers have been told not to drive their cars after faulty airbags caused three deaths in 7 months

Stephen Jones   

Some Dodge and Chrysler drivers have been told not to drive their cars after faulty airbags caused three deaths in 7 months
LifeThelife2 min read
  • Stellantis has issued a 'Do Not Drive' warning on around 276,000 vehicles, the NHTSA announced.
  • The warning applies to some 2005-2010 Dodge Challenger, Charger, and Chrysler 300 Sedan models.

Drivers of some older Dodge and Chrysler models have been told to stop driving their cars after Stellantis, the owner of Fiat Chrysler, issued a 'Do Not Drive' warning against 276,000 vehicles following reports of the death of three people due to faulty airbags over the last seven months.

On Thursday the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a consumer alert notifying drivers of the warning which applies to 2005-2010 Dodge Magnums, Dodge Challenger Coupes and Dodge Chargers, as well as Chrysler 300 Sedans.

The issue relates to a long-known fault with driver's-side airbags produced by the Japanese firm Takata. Long-term exposure to heat and humidity can affect the inflator, causing it to explode or not inflate properly during a collision. The fault has caused 30 deaths and hundreds of injuries worldwide, per Reuters.

Over 67 million vehicles fitted with Takata airbags have been subject to recalls over the last decade, per The NHTSA's website. It includes 1.7 million that were recalled by Toyota in 2019, 1.3 million of which were sold in the US. Ford began replacing airbags in 2.6 million vehicles in April 2021.

Stellantis has been offering replacement airbags since 2015, however, a spokesperson for Stellantis told Insider:

"We're aware of two confirmed DAB ruptures and one unconfirmed -- all in the last seven months. Each is associated with a single fatality, and we had contacted those particular owners about the 2015 recall a combined total of 153 times. Events happen in warm-weather U.S. states. Each one involved a 2010 Dodge Charger."

The NHTSA said in a report that drivers should check if their car has an open Takata airbag recall using the agency's Lookup tool, and should schedule a free replacement with their dealer if it is.

"Left unrepaired, recalled Takata air bags are increasingly dangerous as the risk of an explosion rises as vehicles age. Every day that passes when you don't get a recalled airbag replaced, puts you and your family at greater risk of injury or death," said NHTSA acting administrator Ann Carlson in the notice. Carlson added that an exploding Takata airbag can send metal fragments towards those in the car.

The NHTSA did not immediately respond to Insider's request for further comment, which came outside of standard business hours.




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