WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- A third death from an exploding airbag was confirmed by Stellantis and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- The third victim was driving a 2010 Chrysler 300 which is included in the recall order of the car maker and the NHTSA.
- The airbags contain ammonium nitrate that through repeated exposure to high temperatures and moisture would become more volatile.
Stellantis announced last month the death of two people from exploding Takata airbags. This time, the company formerly known as Fiat Chrysler confirmed that the faulty airbags have killed another driver.
The automaker and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reiterated warnings to owners of 274,000 older Dodge and Chrysler vehicles — Dodge Magnum wagons, Dodge Challenger and Charger muscle cars and Chrysler 300 sedans from the 2005 through 2010 model years — to stop driving them until the defective inflators are replaced.
In the 2015 recall for all its vehicles under the “Do Not Drive” warning, they offer free repairs, parts and service through its dealers. They even provided round-trip transportation to and from a dealership.
According to the NHTSA, the third victim was driving a 2010 Chrysler 300.
In the Stellantis statement, they said that the vehicle owner asked the company about the recall in 2018 but did not set an appointment for service. The company added that in the past seven years, they have sent 114 urgent notices to the owner.
Tom McCarthy, global head of safety and regulatory compliance at Stellantis said, “Time is a critical element here because the risk increases with each day these airbag inflators go unreplaced.”
When exposed to moisture and frequent high temperatures, the ammonium nitrate that Takata used to create an explosion in the bags, would make it more explosive. In a crash, the ammonium nitrate would crack a metal canister and disperse shrapnel into the passenger at the back.
The reported deaths and around 400 injuries have occurred in the U.S., but Australia and Malaysia have also reported similar incidents.
The possible lethal airbag malfunctions generated the biggest auto recalls in the history of the U.S. It involved the recall of 67 million Takata inflators. And millions have not yet been repaired.
Aside from making history, it also led to the bankruptcy of Takata Corp. of Japan.
Car owners can visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls and enter their 17-digit vehicle identification number to check if they have any open recalls.
Stellantis has not disclosed the location of the latest crash but has sent its sympathies to the family of the third victim.
Source: New York Post