• Stellantis is urging some 276,000 owners of Dodge and Chrysler models from 2005 to 2010 to stop driving their vehicles.
• Since the beginning of the year, three more deaths have occurred in connection with Takata airbags, bringing the total to 32 worldwide.
• Some vehicles have yet to have their Takata airbags replaced, despite recalls and notices to do so.
• Affected models include the Dodge Charger, Challenger and Magnum, as well as the Chrysler 300 (2005 to 2010).
The Takata airbag scandal is certainly one of the worst in the automotive industry. Units that become defective over time and send fragments into the faces of occupants during collisions have so far been responsible for 32 deaths worldwide.
Yes, 32, because three other deaths have been attributed to these airbags since the beginning of the year. In two cases, it is clear that the airbag was responsible, while in the third case, it is strongly suspected. Two of the deceased had been driving a 2010 Dodge Charger while the other had been driving a 2010 Chrysler.
As a result, Stellantis has issued a statement urging owners of older models to stop driving them if their Takata airbags have not been replaced. The approximately 276,000 units targeted by the notice are the Dodge Charger, Magnum and Challenger, as well as the Chrysler 300. The affected years range from 2005 to 2010, depending on the model.
The announcement came as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the equivalent of Transport Canada, released a statement recounting the deaths that occurred.
Since 2013, millions of vehicles from dozens of brands have been recalled worldwide due to the risk of exploding airbags in the event of an accident. FCA (Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles), the forerunner of Stellantis, stopped using the airbags in 2010. The automaker began issuing recalls and offering airbag replacements in 2015. The company said it was aggressive in reaching as many owners as possible with millions of letters sent, phone calls and even home visits.
However, as is always the case with these types of recalls, it's difficult to reach everyone and some vehicles also changed hands between the initial sale and the company's notices.
That's why, according to the statement shared today, more than a quarter of a million vehicles have yet to have their defective cushions replaced.