Stellantis recalls nearly 285,000 vehicles over deadly airbag defect

Must read

Test finds most semi-automated car systems unsafe

Most semi-automated vehicle systems fall short on safety, new test finds 02:03

Stellantis has recalled thousands of Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 cars because of a manufacturing defect that could cause  airbags to rupture unexpectedly, resulting in metal fragments flying out, potentially killing passengers.

Fiat Chrysler America (FCA) said in recall documents that it began investigating the inflator issue last month and found that some of the “affected vehicles may have had moisture introduced into the inflator.” The moisture likely caused corrosion in the inflator, which could lead them to rupture, the company said. If the inflator does burst, compressed gas could rapidly release from the inflator with material potentially propelled throughout the car, the recall documents state. 

“An inflator rupture may result in sharp metal fragments striking occupants, resulting in injury or death,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated in a letter to Chrysler acknowledging the recall. 

The automaker has received two warranty claims and five reports of customers needing assistance tied to the issue. No accidents or injuries relating to the airbag inflator defect have been reported, according to FCA in a letter to the NHTSA.

The 284,982 recalled vehicles include certain 2018-2021 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 cars. Notification letters are expected to be mailed to owners on May 3, 2024, and will request that they send the company adequate proof of payment for their recalled car in order to receive full reimbursement for the cost of repairs. Dealers will replace both side airbags free of charge, the recall notice states. 

Owners may contact FCA US, LLC customer service at 1-800-853-1403. FCA US, LLC’s number for this recall is 19B. 

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov. The NHTSA safety issue ID is 24V198 and can be tracked here.

The airbag inflator recall comes one month after Stellantis-owned Chrysler recalled more than 338,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees because of a ball joint issue that could result in a loss of control by the driver, potentially leading to a crash.

Khristopher J. Brooks

70820838-10107939517480338-3901705551913943040-n.jpg

Khristopher J. Brooks is a reporter for CBS MoneyWatch. He previously worked as a reporter for the Omaha World-Herald, Newsday and the Florida Times-Union. His reporting primarily focuses on the U.S. housing market, the business of sports and bankruptcy.

More articles

Latest article