Another Takata Airbag Fatality, Another Reminder: Stop Driving Unfixed Cars
Stellantis said it attempted to reach the owner of a 2010 Chrysler 300 involved in the most recent fatality more than 100 times.
Stellantis confirmed Monday a third person had been killed this year by a faulty Takata airbag inflator that sprayed shrapnel into the cabin of a 2010 Chrylser 300 and asked owners of related vehicles with similar defects to stop driving those cars immediately.
In a statement, Stellantis said roughly 274,000 2005-2010 Chrylser 300, Dodge Magnum, Charger, and Challenger models are affected by the issue. Those cars are part of a much larger recall—the largest in automotive history—that comprises more than 67 million cars. Those cars were equipped with faulty airbag inflators made by Takata that could explode and shower drivers and passengers with metal shards.
Federal safety officials and automakers have implored owners to bring in cars to be fixed for free, phasing in a massive recall for years that was determined by where the car is located and what type of airbag inflator was equipped. (Cars in hot, humid regions were more susceptible to damaged inflators, for example.)
Last month, Stellantis urged drivers of affected models to park their cars and contact a dealership to fix their dangerous inflators after two other fatalities were confirmed and attributed to the defect. In its statement, Stellantis said it attempted to contact the owner of the 2010 Chrysler 300 involved in the most recent fatality more than 100 times.
“The vehicle’s owner inquired with the Company about the driver-side air-bag recall in 2018, but then declined an opportunity to schedule the free service at a dealership. FCA US continued to send urgent notifications to this owner through 2022, contributing to a total of 114 outreach attempts over a seven-year period.
“In July, the owner loaned the vehicle to a family member who was subsequently killed in a crash when the driver-side air bag ruptured on deployment,” the automaker wrote in a statement.
Stellantis said it had attempted to reach owners of the three vehicles involved in the three confirmed fatalities this year 269 times. The automaker said it is willing to work with owners to arrange for transportation to a dealer, help with towing costs, and more to fix the airbag inflators.
In short: If you own one of those and haven’t fixed it yet, park it. Pick up the phone. Get it fixed.
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