In a recent development, Stellantis (FCA US, LLC) has issued a stern warning to owners of model-year 2003 Dodge Ram (DR) pickups, potentially linked to the ongoing Takata airbag inflator recall. This urgent call comes after a tragic traffic accident on May 13th, 2023, where the deployment of faulty airbags caused a fatality. The serious injury sustained by the front passenger, who was also the vehicle’s owner, aligns with injuries observed in previous Takata inflator-related fatalities.
Stellantis urges owners or custodians of the estimated 29,000 unrepaired model-year 2003 Dodge Ram pickups still on U.S. roads to cease driving these vehicles immediately. They are encouraged to contact a dealer or Stellantis to ascertain the recall status of their vehicles.
For nearly a decade, free replacements for certain Takata airbag inflators have been available. However, these inflators are subject to recall due to their chemical compounds that may deteriorate over time, especially when exposed to hot and humid climates. Under such conditions, the inflators are at risk of rupturing upon airbag deployment, projecting sharp debris capable of causing severe injury or even death.
In light of this situation, Stellantis is prepared to offer alternative and complimentary transportation options to assist affected individuals in reaching and returning from dealerships as needed.
Stellantis expresses its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the customer who lost their life in the May tragedy. Sadly, this incident marks the fourth such occurrence involving an FCA-brand vehicle.
Despite sending six recall notices to the customer’s address, all of which were disregarded, the vehicle involved in the fatal accident joins four other FCA-brand vehicles subject to a Takata-related stop-drive campaign. Last year, Stellantis announced stop-drives for the Chrysler 300, Dodge Magnum, Challenger, and Charger models spanning from 2005 to 2010. Shockingly, an estimated 233,000 Chrysler and Dodge vehicles of these models still remain unrepaired and in operation, despite extensive efforts by the company to reach out to customers using various channels, such as mail, courier services, email, text messages, phone calls, and even home visits.
Since the initiation of the Takata airbag inflator recall in 2014, Stellantis has made over 210 million outreach attempts, resulting in the replacement of more than 6.1 million recalled Takata airbag inflators.
In light of these critical circumstances, FCA US urgently appeals to owners and custodians of all the aforementioned vehicles, as well as any other vehicles subject to the Takata recall, to take immediate action and respond to these warnings. It is crucial to note that airbags of this type, which are subject to the recall, have not been used in FCA US vehicle production since 2016.
Motorists who are unsure whether their vehicle has been repaired or are seeking additional information are strongly advised to contact Stellantis at 833-585-0144 or utilize the search engines at recalls.mopar.com or checktoprotect.org by entering their vehicle identification number (VIN).