The order applies to the 2005 through 2010 Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Dodge Magnum models.
The biggest recall in history is still claiming lives
It’s a problem you’ve probably heard of before. But it can also be a problem that you have not yet dealt with in your car.
The warning is the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of the largest recall in automotive history.
Takata’s airbag recall began in 2013 and included cars from 34 manufacturers sold on at least five continents. The federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says at least 67 million cars on American roads were carrying the deadly parts when dealerships first sold them.
A grenade in your steering wheel
An airbag inflator is a small metal capsule containing chemicals that work together to create a rapidly expanding gas. In an accident, the inflator is designed to squirt this gas out of a nozzle and quickly inflate a folded airbag so it can protect occupants from impact with collapsing car parts.
Some Takata inflators may explode under pressure instead of ejecting gas from the nozzle as intended. Their capsule sometimes ruptures under the sudden force of the chemical reaction. This can send hot metal splinters flying into the cabin like shrapnel.
Takata Corporation supplied gas generators to much of the global auto industry.
According to the Associated Press, this phenomenon has claimed the lives of at least 32 people worldwide and 23 in the United States. At least three of those deaths occurred this year, with the two most recent coming in Chrysler or Dodge cars. Another new fatality in a Chrysler or Dodge is still being investigated, the AP says.
Not just a Chrysler, Dodge problem
This latest warning comes from Chrysler, Dodge and their parent company Stellantis. However, almost every automaker that has sold cars in America since 1998 has recalled vehicles due to the Takata airbag issue. All of them can do the free repair.
The risk increases over time
The chemicals in Takata inflators degrade over time, increasing the risk of explosion. “Each day that passes that a recalled airbag is not replaced puts you and your family at greater risk of injury or death,” said Acting NHTSA Administrator Ann Carlson.
The repair is free
The repair to eliminate the risk is easy and free. Dealers will remove your car’s Takata airbag inflator and replace it with an inflator from another brand. Almost any dealer in the US can perform the service in less than an hour and for free.
In a statement, Stellantis says its dealers stock enough replacement inflators to repair any of their cars.
17 million still drive it around
NHTSA believes that of the 67 million American cars affected by the recall, 50 million have been repaired. This puts up to 17 million drivers at risk. “Even minor accidents can result in airbag deployments, which can cause fatal or life-altering injuries,” warns the NHTSA.
How to find out if your car needs a recall repair
Automakers have been reaching out to owners for years to warn them about the recall. Stellantis says it has sent “nearly 210 million standard and first-class letters, courier deliveries, emails, texts, while also making phone calls and home visits” asking owners to bring their cars in for free repairs.
But inevitably, some owners slip through the cracks. If you’ve moved since you bought your car, or if you bought your car used, they may not have the information they need to reach you.
Last year, NHTSA confirmed another Takata airbag-related death in a man who received more than 100 calls to bring his car in for a free new gas generator.
Check if your car has any pending recalls with the simple VIN tool at our Recall Center.
Vehicle owners who prefer to speak directly to the manufacturer can call the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Takata call center phone at 833-585-0144 or visit their website. For Takata-specific information from other vehicle manufacturers, please click here.