Fiat Chrysler Recalls 1.4 Million Vehicles for Defective Takata Airbags
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is adding 1.4 million vehicles in the United States to its list of those that should have their Takata airbag inflators replaced. According to Consumer Reports, the action includes Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Ram vehicles. This announcement from the automaker covers passenger-side front airbag inflators and is part of the effort by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and automakers to space out the replacement of Takata airbag inflators based on the risk to drivers and passengers.
Details of the Recall
The goal of these actions have been to essentially get replacement inflators to vehicle owners in the highest risk regions first – those that experience high heat and humidity – and then to the rest of the country later as supply of replacement parts increases. The final wave of recalls is scheduled for early 2020. The Takata airbag recall has been unprecedented in terms of the number of vehicles recalled. It already covers 50 million inflators in 37 million cars, SUVs, pickup trucks from 19 manufacturers.
So far, at least 15 drivers and passengers in the United States have died and more than 250 people have been injured due to these defective airbags. The devices use ammonium nitrate to inflate the airbag in the event of a crash. This chemical, a common ingredient in fertilizers, can deteriorate over time causing inflators to explode with violent force.
If the airbag explodes in this manner, it could spray sharp metal fragments directly at the driver and passengers leading to severe injuries or death. FCA says it is not aware of any injuries or accidents associated with this specific recall. Dealers will replace the parts at no charge to vehicle owners.
Dangerous and Defective Vehicles
The Takata airbag recall is no doubt one of the most extensive recalls not just here in the United States, but anywhere in the world. Companies have been slow to make replacement parts and repairs available to consumers. If you own one of these vehicles, it would be in your best interest to contact your dealer and get the faulty airbag inflator replaced. These vehicles have already caused a number of fatalities and many more devastating injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a faulty Takata airbag, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. Call an experienced auto defect attorney who has successfully handled Takata airbag cases for more information about pursuing your legal rights.