Stellantis recalls nearly 285K sedans because side curtain airbag inflators could break open

ByPeter Valdes-Dapena, CNN, CNNWire
Friday, March 22, 2024
285K sedans recalled; side curtain airbag inflators could break open
A Stellantis recall impacts nearly 285,000 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans. They have side curtain airbag inflators that could burst.

Stellantis is recalling almost 285,000 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans in the United States because they have side curtain airbag inflators that could burst, sending metal shrapnel flying through the cabin.

Airbag inflators rely on a chemical reaction that produces gas that rapidly inflates the airbag. Moisture may have gotten inside inflators installed in some 2018 through 2021 Charger and 300 models in the manufacturing process. That water could lead to internal corrosion and, possibly, cracks in the inflator, according to documents Stellantis filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Charger and 300 are large sedans that share most of their engineering. The airbag inflators involved in this recall were not installed in any other Stellantis models, according to the documents.

While the situation is similar to that which led to the recall of millions of Takata airbag inflators used in many different vehicles, this problem is apparently unrelated.

Beginning in early May, Stellantis will mail letters to Charger and 300 owners with cars that could have the problem. Owners will be instructed to bring their cars into a dealership to have the side airbags on both sides of the vehicles replaced. The work will be done at no charge to owners, and people who may already have had their side curtain airbags replaced will be reimbursed for the cost.

Stellantis is not aware of any accidents or injuries resulting from these issues. There were five known instances in which the airbag inflators burst. In each case, they were in parked vehicles in which the interior temperature reached over 120 degrees, which it can, especially in hot weather.

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