The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed another Takata airbag fatality on Monday, bringing the total number of deaths this year to five. In a separate statement, Stellantis urged owners of older Chrysler and Dodge vehicles with open Takata driver-side airbag recalls to immediately stop driving their vehicles and contact the company to schedule the necessary repair.
The fatality occurred in a recent crash of a 2010 Chrysler 300 where the Takata driver’s side airbag inflator ruptured. In November, Stellantis issued a “Do Not Drive” warning for roughly 276,000 Dodge Magnums, Chargers, and Challengers, as well as Chrysler 300s from the 2005 to 2010 model years. The warning came after two people died in separate crashes involving 2010 Dodge Chargers where the Takata driver’s side airbags exploded.
“Time is a critical element here because the risk increases with each day these air-bag inflators go unreplaced,” said Tom McCarthy, global head of Technical Safety and Regulatory Compliance at Stellantis. “We have the parts, and the service is free. We will provide alternative transportation, also free, to help people get to and from our dealerships, as needed.”
The NHTSA urges all owners to immediately check if their vehicle has an open airbag recall and contact their dealership to schedule the repair at no cost. Even minor crashes can cause death or serious injuries due to the defective inflators on Takata airbags. Older vehicles, like the 2010 Chrysler 300, are more likely to cause injuries because the airbag's age is one of the contributing factors to the safety risk.
To learn more about the Takata airbag recall, owners can visit the NHTSA's website, which has a page dedicated to the issue. They can also contact the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Takata Call Center at 833-585-0144 or on the company's website.
The Takata airbag recall involves millions of vehicles in the US from many auto manufacturers. Now in its 10th year, this is the largest automotive recall in US history. There have been a total of 24 deaths related to defective Takata airbags, with another happening earlier this month.