Chrysler is the latest automaker to issue a nationwide recall for vehicles equipped with Takata airbags.
The expansion is in response to a request by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to recall all vehicles with driver-side airbags made by Takata, regardless of geographic location. A previous recall only included Chrysler vehicles in high-humidity areas.
About 3.3 million Chrysler vehicles worldwide are included in the expansion with about 2.89 million located in the U.S. Since 2008, nearly 20 million vehicles have been recalled for Takata driver- and passenger-side airbags that have exploded when deployed during an accident, resulting in at least five deaths and more than 30 injuries.
The recall includes certain model year:
2004-2007 Dodge Ram 1500 and Dodge Durango
2005-2007 Dodge Ram 2500, Dodge Charger, Dodge Magnum, Dodge Dakota, Chrysler 300, Chrysler 300C, Chrysler SRT8
2006-2007 Dodge Ram 3500 and Mitsubishi Raider
2007 Chrysler Aspen
Experts believe that age and high humidity causes the propellant to become unstable, and automakers subsequently focused on cars in those areas. The NHTSA pressed both Takata and automakers in November to expand the recall after evidence of exploding airbags in areas that had lower humidity levels. Takata refused the request. The New York Times reported on Dec. 19 that the agency is looking into options - including litigation - that would force the company to comply.
Honda, Mazda and Ford have already expanded their recalls, while BMW continues to hold out.
Owners involved in the initial regional recall were notified earlier this month, but Chrysler has not determined a date for notifying the owners included in the expansion.
For more information, owners can contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler's number for this recall is P81.