Own An Older Challenger or Charger? Dodge Warns Stop Driving It

Recently, two people have been killed by Takata airbag deployment. Stellantis, the parent company of Dodge, is urging almost 300,000 Charger and Challenger owners to stop driving their cars for their safety. Yes, the sorry, sad saga of the Takata airbag continues to wreak havoc. The warning also includes Dodge Magnum wagons and Chrysler 300 sedans, built between 2005 and 2010. 

Is this airbag recall new or part of the earlier ones?

airbags safety
A deployed airbag in a Nissan vehicle | Getty

In a release today, Stellantis is “urgently” warning drivers to stop using their vehicles. These recent deaths are from airbags that are already part of a massive recall. Stellantis also says it is aware of other airbag ruptures in both its own but also other manufacturers of late. This is a voluntary campaign to help convince owners that for safety reasons not to put off airbag replacement any longer. 

“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 longer these particular vehicles remain unrepaired, the greater the risk of an airbag rupture, in event of a crash. Free replacement driver-side airbags have been available for this population since 2015.”

The expectation was that these airbags would be replaced soon after the recalls. Especially because they can be deadly. Stellantis says it has done an “aggressive outreach” to educate owners about the safety dangers and to have the airbags replaced. 

Where can I check to see if my car has already gotten replacements?

airbags safety
Logo of the Japanese auto parts maker Takata | Getty

“To date, through various initiatives, the company has generated nearly 210 million standard and first-class letters, courier deliveries, e-mails, and text messages, while also making phone calls and home visits. Many owners say they don’t have time to obtain the remedy. However, the repair procedure takes well under one hour.” It also added that it “extends its sympathies to the families and friends of those affected by these incidents.”

There are different ways you can determine if your Chrysler or Dodge vehicle has had the replacement. You can call (833) 585-0144. There are also a number of websites you can check by using your VIN number. Mopar.com/recalls, checktoprotect.org, or nhtsa.gov/recalls. 

How are these airbags hurting passengers?

airbags safety
The deployed airbag in a Ford | Getty

“Left unrepaired, recalled Takata airbags are increasingly dangerous as the risk of an explosion rises as vehicles age. 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,” NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson says. “An exploding Takata airbag can send metal fragments toward the driver or passengers, and this shrapnel can kill – and has killed or maimed people.”

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