FCA issues Do Not Drive order for older Dodges and Chryslers

Photo (c) Sara Vuth - PhotoHut - Getty Images

As many as 276,000 vehicles still have dangerous airbags

If you own a 2005 to 2010 Dodge Magnum station wagon, Dodge Challenger coupe, Dodge Charger, or Chrysler 300 the automaker says you should stop driving it immediately.

FCA US warns that approximately 276,000 of these vehicles on U.S. highways still have Takata airbags on the driver’s side that have not been modified. The defective airbags can deploy unexpectedly, spraying bits of metal through the vehicle’s interior, resulting in death or injury.

“Owners or custodians of these vehicles will be contacted directly, advised to stop driving their vehicles, and urged to obtain the necessary service, which continues to be available free of charge at any certified FCA-brand dealer. FCA – the first automaker to migrate from Takata to an alternate source of replacement parts – has sufficient inventory of new airbags to meet demand,” the company said in a statement.

As yet, these more than a quarter million FCA vehicles are not under recall. That may come later but for now, the company says they are too dangerous to be driven.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that tens of millions of vehicles with Takata airbags are under recall. Long-term exposure to high heat and humidity can cause these airbags to explode when deployed. Such explosions have caused injuries and at least 19 deaths in the U.S. 

‘Increasingly dangerous’

“Left unrepaired, recalled Takata airbags are increasingly dangerous as the risk of an explosion rises as vehicles age,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson. “Every day that passes when you don’t get a recalled airbag replaced, puts you and your family at greater risk of injury or death.”  

The defective airbags were used by nearly every automaker and millions have been recalled in the last decade. Safety regulators are concerned about the recalled airbags that have yet to be modified or replaced. 

NHTSA says that even minor fender-benders can result in exploding airbags that can kill or produce life-altering injuries. Older models, such as those being recalled by FCA, are especially dangerous.

Vehicle owners who prefer talking to the manufacturer directly can call Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Takata Call Center Phone at: 833-585-0144 or go to the website. To find out Takata-specific information from other vehicle manufacturers, please check here. For more information on the Takata airbag safety recall, please check here.

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