The Takata airbag recall saga is easily one of the most long-running and expensive recall measures ever undertaken. Japanese auto parts manufacturer Takata went defunct after numerous settlements tanked the business.
Takata’s airbags were found in vehicles made by companies like Dodge and Chrysler–that is until regulators and drivers realized that the Takata airbags could cause debris to splinter out of the airbag housing and cause fatal injuries to drivers. Now, regulators are once again warning drivers to check their older vehicles for Takata-manufactured airbags.
Automotive manufacturing company Stellantis recently warned drivers of older Dodge and Chrysler vehicles to be aware of the issue with Takata airbags. Recently, the driver of a 2010 Chrysler 300 was killed when their airbag experienced a failure that sent shrapnel into the cap of the vehicle.
Five people have died this way in 2022 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Given that the Takata recalls occurred a decade ago, this is an issue that Stellantis wants to remind drivers about. The average car on the road is over 11 years old these days. That is why it’s critical that owners know about any older outstanding recalls that could impact their vehicles.
Stellantis reiterated its “do not drive” warning for over 267,000 Dodge Magnums, Chargers, Challengers, and Chrysler 300s manufactured between 2005 and 2010. These older vehicles are popular secondhand cars. There are still thousands of them on the road even 18 years after some of them were first sold.
Owners of these vehicles are urged to get them towed to their nearest dealership. This is so authorized repair personnel can replace the inflators in their airbags. According to Stellantis, “even minor crashes can result in exploding airbags that can kill or produce life-altering injuries.”
Takata airbags were widely used for years in the automotive industry. It took a shockingly long time for regulators to realize how dangerous they are because of the nature of how airbags are deployed. Since airbags are only used when vehicles collide at high speeds, many deaths due to Takata’s airbag malfunction were likely misattributed to the crash itself.
However, an issue in the inflator of Takata airbags causes it to corrode, especially in hot and humid conditions. That corrosion can, in turn, lead to a deadly spray of shrapnel when the airbag is deployed.