Chrysler Expands Takata Airbag Recall By Nearly 209,000 Vehicles In Five Additional States, U.S. Territories

Hot off the heels of several automakers heeding regulators’ suggestion to initiate nationwide recalls of vehicles with Takata-produced airbags that may spew shrapnel at passengers upon deployment, Chrysler is following suit – kind of.

The Detroit News reports that the manufacturer will expand its recall to five additional high humidity states and three U.S. territories by approximately 208,783 vehicles.

The new recall covers passenger airbags in model year 2003 to 2005 Dodge Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks, model year 2004 to 2005 Dodge Durango, the 2005 Chrysler 300, 300C, SRT8 and the 2005 Dodge Magnum sold or currently registered in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Officials with Chrysler say they are unaware of any injuries or accidents involving the expanded recall.

The manufacturer says the airbag inflators involved in the new recall differ in design and construction from inflators used by other companies.

Including the new recall, Chrysler has recalled nearly 617,000 vehicles with Takata airbags since June.

Chrysler officials previously said they were limiting its recall to vehicles sold or registered in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Just last month officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Chrysler that limiting the recall was unreasonable.

In all, 10 manufacturers have recalled more than 13 million vehicles in the U.S. and 19 million globally.

Earlier this week, Honda and Mazda agreed to expand recalls of affected vehicles nationally. Honda added an additional 2.6 million cars, while Mazda did not have a specific number for the new recall.

Takata airbags have been the center of controversy since early summer when car makers began recalling vehicles after receiving reports that drivers and passengers were hit with flying pieces of metal when their airbags deployed.

In mid-November, NHSTA urged car manufacturers and Takata to issue nationwide recalls for the defective airbags.

Officials with the agency say the decision to call for an expanded recall was based on NHTSA’s evaluation of a recent driver’s side airbag failure in a vehicle outside the current regional recall area. The incident involved a 2007 Ford Mustang in North Carolina.

Investigators with NHTSA say that all other incidents of Takata airbag ruptures have occurred in areas of the regional recall.

Shortly after NHTSA’s request, officials with Takata said during a congressional hearing that they wouldn’t initiate a national recall, in part because they don’t believe that NHTSA has the power to order such an initiative and because testing hasn’t shown what’s really behind the issue.

It was previously reported that Takata uses an unusual chemical explosive – ammonium nitrate – for the chemical’s ability to make airbags inflate in a matter of milliseconds. Since then the company notified NHTSA of a change in its chemical compound.

Chrysler recalls 208,000 vehicles for Takata air bags [The Detroit News]

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