Chrysler Recalls 149,000 Pickup Trucks for Takata Airbag Malfunction

Late Wednesday, Chrysler announced that they will be recalling 149,150 older model pickups to repair a malfunction related to airbag deployment in high humidity states. The recall will take place in seven U.S. states and five territories that include: Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, as well as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan, and American Samoa.

dod2Originally, Chrysler was hesitant to perform such an extensive recall, but increased pressure from the NHTSA forced their hand. The vehicles impacted by this specific recall only include the 2003 Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 pickup models that were ever sold or registered in the areas listed above.

The NHTSA, however, is not satisfied with this minimal Dodge recall, saying that thousands of other trucks could be dangerous (and potentially deadly) to drive. How do you like that for a thrill?

In a statement, the NHTSA said, “Chrysler’s latest recall is insufficient, doesn’t meet our demands, and fails to include all inflators covered by Takata’s defect information report,” the agency said in a statement. “NHTSA will determine the next steps and take appropriate actions to ensure Chrysler acts to protect its customers.”

Chrysler said that they are unaware of any injuries or fatalities associated to the recall. So why fret? (I mean, Americans are notorious after all for jumping on the overreacting train)

Chrysler, of course, is not the only company that is facing pressure from the NHTSA to recall vehicles over airbag malfunctions. For the last few months, 10 different major manufacturers that have had deals with Takata and their airbag products have faced massive recalls and intense investigations. Unlike Chrysler, they’ve pretty much been cooperative with the situation.

November 15, 2014Maybe, Chrysler is just taking this stance because they are actually a really considerate company. After all, they wouldn’t want to put extra pressure on the overburdened deadly, killer Takata company: “Takata told the NHTSA that if the five major automakers expanded the air bag recall to all of the United States, it would add more than 8 million more vehicles to the list of those that need to be fixed, and replacement parts already are in short supply.”

In a meeting with Congress yesterday, Takata executives also indicated that ONLY five known deaths have been caused by their malfunctioning airbags, which shoot out shrapnel (Training Day style, I imagine…see below) to the chest and head areas when deployed in humid weather.

In the end, Chrysler’s hesitancy to perform a bigger recall on their vehicles, which feature Takata airbags, indicates that the automaker is prepared to roll the dice when it comes to risking their driver’s lives. I mean, let’s be real, what’s more important: millions and millions of dollars or a small handful of dead drivers? Chrysler thinks it’s pretty apparent. So don’t overreact.

 

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