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From Products Liability Law Daily, December 5, 2014

Chrysler, Ford expand Takata airbag recall

By Joe Bichl

Chrysler Group and Ford Motor Company have expanded existing recalls of vehicles equipped with Takata airbags. Under certain conditions, generally in high humidity areas, the airbags can rupture and explode, posing injury and fatality hazards to vehicle occupants.

Chrysler. Chrysler reported in a press statement that it is expanding its recall to include an estimated 149,150 older model pickup trucks. The recall will be conducted in seven U.S. states and five territories. The automaker said it will replace the front passenger-side air-bag inflators in these vehicles, although it is unaware of any related injuries or accidents involving the Takata inflators in the recalled vehicles. In addition, Chrysler indicated it had observed no failures in laboratory testing of its airbag modules. The pickup trucks are among nine vehicle lines subject to an “earlier regional field action to replace inflators in certain cars and trucks purchased or registered in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands—areas where persistent, high absolute humidity and high temperatures may adversely affect component performance,” the company’s statement said. According to Chrysler’s data analysis, the front passenger-side inflators in the recalled pickup trucks represent the only additional risk outside high humidity areas.

The recalled vehicles include model-year 2003 Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 pickup trucks sold or registered in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands. Chrysler Group plans to notify owners beginning January 19, 2015. Letters will advise when they may schedule service, which will be provided free of charge.

Ford. Ford issued a press release reporting that, at the request of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it is expanding its regional recall on Takata passenger-side airbag inflators. The recall includes some 38,500 vehicles in the United States and territories, bringing the total recall count for vehicles having Takata airbag issues to approximately 98,000.

The expanded recall includes certain 2004-2005 Ford Rangers and 2005-2006 Ford GTs originally sold, or registered, in Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Other areas with high absolute humidity conditions in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Guam, Saipan, and American Samoa, are also included, in accordance with NHTSA’s request.

Companies: Chrysler Group; Ford Motor Co.

MainStory: TopStory ProductRecallsNews MotorVehiclesNews

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