Stellantis to recall 285,000 Dodge and Chrysler for airbag hazard


Automotive group Stellantis is recalling hundreds of thousands of vehicles — specifically Dodge Chargers and Chrysler 300s modeled from 2018 to 2021 — citing side airbags that could rupture, according to documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And can throw shrapnel.

The documents say both side airbags may have faulty inflators, putting passengers at risk of projectiles flying inside the vehicles. No injuries have been reported.

Chrysler and Dodge are two of the many automotive brands in the Stellantis portfolio. The total number of Dodge Chargers recalled is 217,802, while the number for Chryslers is 67,180. Stellantis estimated in a statement Friday that the defective inflators are present in “less than one percent of the recalled population.”

Chrysler's regulatory compliance department began investigating those cars on February 17, 2023, and determined the following year that “the affected vehicles may have had moisture introduced into the inflators during supplier manufacturing that could cause internal corrosion over time.” “

The company initiated the recall on March 7.

Stellantis, which was formed through the 2021 merger of Fiat Chrysler and French automaker Peugeot, also announced layoffs on Friday, effective March 31. The company said it was reducing its engineering and software workforce by about 2 percent, citing “unprecedented uncertainties.” “Competitive pressures increased around the world.”

“While we understand this is difficult news, these actions will better align resources while preserving the critical skills needed to protect our competitive advantage,” Stellantis said in a statement.

In late 2021, Stellantis announced a $34 billion investment by 2025 on developing software-based cars to rival Tesla.

One of the company's goals is to have 50 percent of passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the United States be electric vehicles by the end of the decade. But the transition to electric vehicles hasn't been smooth. Last year, Stellantis offered buyouts to thousands of employees in an effort to cut costs and ease the transition.

Owners will be notified of the recall starting May 3. The inflators were manufactured by Joyson Safety Systems, the company that in 2018 purchased Takata, the now-bankrupt Japanese supplier that was responsible for the largest recall in automotive history due to faulty airbags. , Stellantis said these inflators do not use the same design as the recalled Takata airbags.

The report cites five instances of customers complaining about the issue. A spokesperson said four of those five cases occurred in the Middle East and all five involved parked vehicles. The company also said it was not aware of any injuries related to the malfunction.

Last month, Jeep, also owned by Stellantis, recalled more than 330,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees — which were built between 2021 and 2023 — because of steering wheel problems.


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