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Mopars added to airbag recall

by Bill Cawthon on

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has added more than 370,000 DaimlerChrysler-built and Chrysler LLC-built cars, SUVs and trucks to a six-million-vehicle recall to replace defective airbags manufactured by Takata Corporation.

A faulty propellant inside the air bag is unstable and can explode after even a minor accident, sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment. At least three deaths and more than 100 injuries are said to have been caused by the defect.

In a press release, the NHTSA urged owners of vehicles involved in the recall to act immediately to replace defective Takata airbags.

Since high humidity has been connected with the defect, owners of vehicles in Florida, Puerto Rico and areas of Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana that are located near the Gulf Coast should make it a priority to have their vehicles checked.

“Responding to these recalls, whether old or new, is essential to personal safety and it will help aid our ongoing investigation into Takata airbags and what appears to be a problem related to extended exposure to consistently high humidity and temperatures. However, we’re leaving no stone unturned in our aggressive pursuit to track down the full geographic scope of this issue,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman.

“Takata is committed to the highest standards of safety for our customers – and their
customers,” said Shigehisa Takada, Chairman and CEO of Takata Corporation. “For the past several months, we have been consistently cooperating with NHTSA, and we will continue to do so during the defect investigation that the agency recently opened, but we also stand by the quality of our
products. Takata is committed to ensuring the safety and functionality of its air bag inflators,
and we strive to avoid any malfunction.

“Each of the six incidents that prompted the NHTSA investigation occurred in Puerto Rico or
Florida.  We currently believe the high levels of absolute humidity in those states are
important factors; and as a result our engineers are analyzing the impact that humidity may
have on the potential for an inflator malfunction, as well as other possible contributing
factors. We will share these results and continue to work in concert with NHTSA and our customers.”

The affected Chrysler vehicles include:

• 2005 – 2008 Chrysler 300

•  2007 – 2008 Chrysler Aspen

• 2003 – 2008 Dodge Ram 1500

•2005 – 2008 Dodge Ram 2500

• 2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 3500

• 2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 4500

• 2008 – Dodge Ram 5500

• 2005 – 2008 Dodge Durango

• 2005 – 2008 Dodge Dakota

The NHTSA website has a page, that owners can access to see if their particular vehicle is included in the recall, but the volume of inquiries crashed it and it was still down at 5:00 AM Eastern Time.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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