Dodge And Chrysler Vehicles Recalled After Deadly Discovery

By Victor Winston, updated on March 25, 2024

Automobile manufacturer Stellantis has issued a recall for nearly 286,000 Dodge and Chrysler sedans across the United States, highlighting a significant safety concern, Daily Mail reported.

The recall involves certain Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans from the 2018 to 2021 model years due to a defect in the side airbag inflators. The inflators could dangerously explode and potentially send metal fragments flying at occupants.

The heart of the issue lies with the side airbag inflators, which can rupture and project sharp metal pieces inside the vehicle's cabin due to excessive force during deployment. This defect poses a grave risk of injury and puts lives at stake, generating substantial worry among vehicle owners and safety regulators alike.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has highlighted the defect's severe implications, stating that it could lead to "injury or death." Select Dodge Chargers and Chrysler 300s, cherished for their robust performance and American engineering, are affected.

Understanding the Recall: Moisture Intrusion and the Risk It Poses

Investigations pinpoint moisture intrusion during the manufacturing process as a catalyst for potential corrosion and cracking of the inflators. This flaw could trigger the airbags to deploy unexpectedly, even without a collision, an occurrence notably riskier in warmer climates where cabin temperatures can soar.

The company has observed instances where the airbags deployed while the vehicles were stationary, with the cabin temperature exceeding 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Stellantis acknowledges receiving seven warranty claims and customer assistance reports related to the defect, though, fortuitously, no injuries have been reported to date.

Stellantis has proactively begun efforts to address this issue, estimating that about 1% of the inflators may be faulty. With vehicle owner notifications slated to begin on May 3, dealerships are preparing to replace the side airbag modules to prevent further risk of injury.

Next Steps for Owners and Precedents in Safety Recalls

For concerned vehicle owners, Stellantis is opening lines of communication, although it remains unclear whether loaner vehicles will be provided during the repair process.

This recall, spearheaded by a defect in components manufactured by Joyson Safety Systems—a company that took over Takata after its bankruptcy—draws an unsettling parallel to the Takata airbag crisis.

That crisis led to at least 26 deaths in the U.S. alone, marking the largest auto recall in the country's history. However, Stellantis clarifies that the current recall is unrelated to the issues Takata-manufactured airbags face.

Owners of the identified Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 models from 2018 to 2021 are urged to heed the recall and ensure the safety of their vehicles. Stellantis's proactive approach aims to mitigate risks and uphold the safety of its customers, reflecting the company's commitment to high safety standards.

Conclusion

Ensuring that vehicles are safe and free from defects that could harm passengers and other road users remains a joint responsibility. Stellantis's effort to recall affected vehicles and rectify the defect is a step in the right direction. Vehicle owners are advised to respond promptly to recall notifications and cooperate with dealers to facilitate the necessary repairs, safeguarding their safety and that of others.

As this recall unfolds, it provides a stark reminder of the importance of vehicle safety and the potential risks inherent to technical malfunctions. Vehicle owners, manufacturers, and regulatory bodies must continue working closely to address such issues promptly, ensuring the safety and well-being of all road users.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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