Faulty Takata airbag inflators, which have exploded in clouds of shrapnel instead of inflating the airbag like normal, have been responsible for dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries around the world. Automakers worked fast to replace the faulty parts in millions of cars, but years later, many owners still have not had their recalled vehicles fixed, and Stellantis really, really wants those owners to get it done.
Stellantis on Thursday issued a statement requesting that the owners of some 276,000 vehicles stop driving their vehicles and finally bring the cars in to have those faulty Takata parts replaced. This request covers the 2005-2010 Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Dodge Magnum. Stellantis said in its statement that the owners will be contacted directly, as well.
"To date, through various initiatives, the company has generated nearly 210 million standard and first-class letters, courier deliveries, e-mails, text messages, while also making phone calls and home visits," Stellantis said in its statement. The repair takes less than an hour, and replacement parts have been available for the last seven years.
So why, if the recall is this old, did Stellantis release a new statement on the matter? Sadly, it's because those faulty parts are still causing problems. According to Reuters, three deaths in the last seven months have been tied to the faulty Takata components. The parts in question do not fix themselves over time; they remain ticking time bombs in every vehicle that still contains them.
"The longer these particular vehicles remain unrepaired, the greater the risk of an airbag rupture, in the event of a crash," Stellantis said in its statement, adding that it "extends its sympathies to the families and friends of those affected by these incidents."