WASHINGTON (Reuters) – USA. Auto safety regulators confirmed a fifth death from Takata airbag inflating accident in 2022 and reiterated urgent calls for owners to get repairs.
Chrysler parent company Stellantis and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said they confirmed the death of a third Takata airbag inflator. Over the past decade, more than 67 million Takata airbag inflators have been recalled in the United States and more than 100 million worldwide, in the largest automotive safety recall in history.
In November, Stellantis urged owners of 276,000 older American vehicles to stop driving immediately after reports of fatal crashes, but only 2,000 owners have received repairs since then. More than 30 deaths worldwide, including 24 deaths in the United States, and hundreds of injuries in vehicles of various automakers since 2009 are linked to Takata airbag inflators that can explode, releasing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks.
The latest death occurred in a 2010 Chrysler 300, one of Stellanti’s three deaths in seven months. In July, the owner loaned the vehicle to a family member who was later killed in a crash when the driver’s side airbag blew while deploying, the company said.
The “Do Not Drive” notice covers 2005 thru 2010 Chrysler 300, Dodge Magnum, Challenger and Charger models that have not been serviced. Earlier this month, NHTSA confirmed Honda’s 17th death from a malfunctioning airbag inflator: a February crash that killed the driver of a 2002 Honda Accord in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Also in November, NHTSA confirmed a new death from a faulty Takata airbag inflator in a 2006 Ford Ranger pickup. Takata decoys were powered by a propellant that could break down after prolonged exposure to high temperature and humidity fluctuations.
Stellantis said it made a total of 114 disclosure attempts over a seven-year period in the last fatal crash and replaced 6.1 million faulty inflators and communicated nearly 210 million times via mail, messenger service , emails, texts, phone calls and home visits.