Stellantis NV

Stellantis Recalls 300,000+ Midsize Cars for Air Bag Risk

March 22, 2024
The NHTSA said inflators in side air bag curtains may throw shrapnel when deployed.

Following findings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Adminstration, Stellantis announced March 22 that it would recall more than 300,000 vehicles with suspect inflators that could explode dangerously. The safety group found that side air bag inflatable curtains (SABICs) installed in certain midsize vehicles built by Stellantis between 2018 and 2021 have suspect inflators, which pose a shrapnel risk to passengers if deployed.

In a statement, Stellantis said it would voluntarily recall all 284,982 vehicles estimated at risk in the U.S. as well as 32,607 vehicles sold outside the U.S, though it estimates that defect parts are present in less than 1% of affected vehicles.

“However, the Company urges customers to follow the instructions on their recall notices,” Stellantis said. The company suggested customers use search engines like Mopar or Check to Protect to verify if their vehicles are affected and said it is “accumulating parts so dealers will be equipped to provide service.”

In its recall notice, the NHTSA named Joyson Safety Systems of Michigan as the manufacturer for the airbags. Joyson acquired Japanese air bag maker Takata, which declared bankruptcy over its own air bags led to waves of recalls. In its statement, Stellantis noted that the affected Joyson airbags use neither the same propellant or inflator design as the recalled Takata airbags.

In the language of the recall, the NHTSA said “A SABIC inflator rupture may result in compressed gas rapidly escaping from the inflator and material potentially being propelled into the vehicle.”

It adds, “Material being propelled into an occupied vehicle may cause injury,” though the document notes that no actual injuries from the airbags have been reported yet. In its own statement, Stellantis noted that of five incidents investigated by the NHTSA, all occurred when the interior of the vehicle exceeded 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

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