Hundreds of thousands of Dodge vehicle owners are affected by recent recalls due to defective Takata airbags. The worst problem involving these airbags is that the inflator part could fracture upon detonation, sending shrapnel-like pieces of metal into the cab of the vehicle. Several people already have died from wounds from metal shards in critical areas like their jugular vein.
Owners of the affected vehicles are urged to seek replacement airbags as soon as possible. Some available information is listed below; you also can use your VIN Number to search for recall notices for your vehicles. It is extremely important to have your Takata airbags or inflators replaced to ensure complete protection for you and your loved ones or other vehicle passengers.
Dodge Airbag Recalls
There are a few different reasons for Dodge airbag recalls, but a serious problem with the Takata inflators is the best known and publicized one. Worldwide, over 34 million vehicles manufactured under 24 brand names are outfitted with these dangerous parts. That number makes this recall the largest even in automotive history.
There are several issues involved in the problem of airbag deployment failures. The company allegedly knew about the problem as early as 2004, a full four years before it was reported to federal safety regulators and made public. Takata denied that their executives told engineers to hide the evidence and not report the problem.
Airbag Deployment Failures
The Takata airbag inflators use a propellant mix that explodes with such intensity and force that it rips the inflators into tiny pieces of metal shards. Those shards are then shot off at speeds of over 100mph toward the vehicle occupants. To compound the problem, this can also occur during low-speed accidents where there has been very little impact. In some cases, the airbags inflated even when the car was not moving or turned on. Several people have died, and many others suffered severe injuries.
Any time the airbag malfunctions or does not provide the protection it was designed to produce, it is a serious problem that needs to be fixed. In addition to the inflator malfunctioning problems, replacement inflators also have been found to be defective. Obtaining replacements has been difficult or impossible for dealer in need of those parts.
Several different types of airbag deployment failures have been reported:
- Expulsion of metal shards upon explosion of the airbag
- Airbags that activate without any impact
- Airbags activate while vehicle is moving
- Side airbags malfunction
- Airbags do not operated as designed
Dodge Models Affected by Airbag Recalls
Fiat-Chrysler has issued recalls for replacement of Takata airbags for many Dodge model vehicles. The problem may be present in just a few vehicle models or hundreds of thousands. Regardless of the numbers of vehicles under scrutiny in any particular recall, Fiat-Chrysler strives to provide replacements to ensure customer safety.
Some of the recent recalls are made for the following Dodge models:
- 2015 Dodge Challenger – Side curtain airbags are at risk due to loose or missing bolts. If the bolt is not installed correctly, the airbag may not function as designed. The problem only affects vehicles produced during a 10-day period; about 81 sold in America (72), Canada (6), and in Mexico (3). The company is not aware of any injuries, accidents or complaints from customers about this problem.
- 2011-’12 Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger – Around 139,000 vehicles have Improperly sized terminal clamps for seat side airbag wiring harnesses that may cause malfunctioning or illuminate an airbag warning light. If there was a crash, this problem may result in the airbag not operating as designed to provide protection. Dealers are to replace both the driver and passenger seat airbag wiring harness.
- 2013 Dodge Dart Mopar 13 special-edition – 421 vehicles in this recall potentially also have a side airbag problem.
- 2014 Dodge Durango – About 184,215 of these models and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs are recalled to fix an airbag defect.
- 2003-’04 Dodge SRT Vipers – Recalls issued for 3,660 models that have defective airbags that may deploy inadvertently during vehicle operation.
Other Dodge recalls are issues for the following models and years:
- 2003-2009 Dodge Ram 1500
- 2003-2009 Dodge Ram 2500
- 2003-2010 Dodge Ram 3500
- 2004-2009 Dodge Durango
- 2005-2008 Dodge Magnum
- 2005-2011 Dodge Dakota
- 2006-2012 Dodge Charger
- 2008-2010 Dodge Ram 4500
- 2008-2010 Dodge Ram 5500
- 2008-2012 Dodge Challenger
Vehicle owners should received notification of any recall matters, and they can then contact their dealer to get needed repairs done. However, some owners do not receive notification for various reasons, including private sale/resale issues. It is best to check your VIN Number for each vehicle you own or drive, so that you can learn if there is a recall out for that model. Recalls may be issued by Zones, which can also confuse customers. There are 3 Zones for Dodge recalls, for various regions of the country that relate to the origin of vehicle purchase. If no Zone is shown, the recall is international.
Compounding replacement problems for dealers is that it has often been difficult or impossible for them to obtain replacement parts. Recently, on August 22, 2016, a truck travelling through Texas that was carrying Takata replacement parts exploded and burned. Takata denied it was a parts problem, but still that load was lost. Many replacement inflators have been found to be defective and not usable, so that leads to even longer wait times for repair of Takata airbags.
Identify Recalled Vehicles by VIN Number
Using your VIN Number is the easiest and fasted way to determine if a vehicle has been issued a recall notice. This information is available at several websites, including:
Airbag Recall Dodge Vehicles
This vehicle manufacturer has issued a Takata recall for some vehicles made from 2003-2011, including the Challenger, Charger, Dakota, Durango, Magnum, Ram 1500, Ram 2500, Ram 3500, Ram 4500, and Ram 5500.