Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recently issued a recall for 322,000 Dodge Charger sedans, prompted by malfunctioning side airbags that could deploy if the car’s doors are slammed shut. The recall announcement comes on the heels of an earlier announcement this summer from the company, when 844,000 Dodge Ram pickup trucks were recalled.
According to the company, three “potentially related” minor injuries have been sustained related to this equipment defect, but no accidents have actually occurred. The company also claims that the recall was spurred by an internal investigation initiated after the Ram truck recall.
Affected sedans are from the 2011 to 2014 model years and include 284,153 cars in the United States. The air bag modules are possibly overly sensitive and need to be recalibrated. Owners will be notified when they should bring in their cars for repairs, but should exercise care when shutting car doors to avoid setting off the air bags.
In the Ram truck recall, the automaker was recently required to buy back the trucks from consumers. The buyback only included trucks not previously repaired. Fiat Chrysler also faces a civil penalty of up to $105 million.
Hazards to drivers and passengers
Defective equipment continues to be a problem for both Dodge and other automakers, with recalls topping 64 million affected vehicles in 2014. The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for monitoring these safety defects, which may include problems with how a part performs, along with issues with materials or their manufacture. Safety equipment like airbags is only one of the issues they must monitor for potential hazards, such as inadvertent deployment resulting in injury or death.
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