Ford, Chrysler Recalling Vehicles with Takata Passenger-Side Airbags
The number of cars recalled for potentially dangerous airbags continues to climb.
Ford and Chrysler have both issued recalls for vehicles equipped with Takata passenger-side airbags that were sold or ever registered in locations that experience high absolute humidity because the inflators could explode when the airbags are deployed. Exploding Takata airbags have caused at least five deaths and 50 injuries globally, resulting in more than 10.4 million recalls.
While Ford did not specify the number of affected vehicles, Chrysler is recalling more than 357,900 vehicles sold or ever registered in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Saipan, Guam, and American Samoa, as well as certain areas of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Georgia. Both are expansions of previously issued recalls.
Makes and Models Included in the Recall:
- 2004-2005 Ford Ranger
- 2005-2006 Ford GT
- 2003-2005 Dodge Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500
- 2004-2005 Dodge Durango
- 2005 Dodge Dakota and Dodge Magnum
- 2005 Chrysler 300, 300C and 300 SRT8
While the exact cause of the explosions is not known, experts believe that prolonged exposure to humidity causes the propellant to become unstable, prompting regional recalls in high-humidity areas. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) called on Takata and carmakers to issue a nationwide recall for driver-side airbags after two incidents of exploding airbags happened in California and North Carolina, both of which were outside the recall area.
Citing a design difference, the NHTSA did not include passenger-side airbags in the request, but regional recalls continue to expand.
Takata said more evidence is needed to determine if a problem exists in low-humidity areas and declined the agency's request.
Honda, once Takata's biggest client, opted to expand the recall and will be using other suppliers to keep up with the demand.
With their brands on the line and little answers from Takata, 10 rival carmakers - General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC, Mazda Motor Co., BMW AG, Nissan Motor Co, Mitsubishi Motors and Subaru of America –convened in Detroit last week to discuss their own next steps.
The group agreed to start with commissioning an independent expert to investigate the technical issues.
For more information about either recall, owners can contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332 and Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403.