Stellantis to Recall Dodge Chargers and Chrysler 300s, Citing Airbag Issue


The automotive conglomerate Stellantis is recalling hundreds of thousands of vehicles — specifically Dodge Chargers and Chrysler 300s modeled from 2018 to 2021 — citing side airbags that could rupture and hurl shrapnel, according to documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The documents say that airbags on both sides may have a defective inflator, putting passengers in danger of flying projectiles inside the vehicles. No injuries have been reported.

Chrysler and Dodge are two of several automotive brands in the Stellantis portfolio based in Amsterdam. The total number of Dodge Chargers being recalled is 217,802, while for Chrysler, that number is 67,180. Stellantis estimated in a statement Friday that the faulty inflator exists in “less than one percent of the recall population.”

Chrysler’s regulatory compliance department opened an investigation into those cars on Feb. 17, 2023, and over the next year, determined that “the affected vehicles may have had moisture introduced into the inflator during supplier manufacturing that may cause internal corrosion over time.”

On March 7, the company initiated the recall.

Stellantis, which was formed in 2021 through the merger of Fiat Chrysler and the French automaker Peugeot, also announced layoffs on Friday effective March 31. The company said it was reducing its engineering and software work force by about 2 percent, citing ”unprecedented uncertainties and heightened competitive pressures around the world.”

“While we understand this is difficult news, these actions will better align resources while preserving the critical skills needed to protect our competitive advantage,” Stellantis said in a statement.

At the end of 2021, Stellantis announced a $34 billion investment through 2025 on developing software-based cars to rival Tesla.

One of the company’s goals is for 50 percent of passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the United States to be electric vehicles by the end of the decade. But the transition to electric vehicles has not been smooth. Last year, Stellantis offered thousands of employees buyouts in an effort to cut costs and ease the transition.

Owners will be notified of the recall beginning on May 3. The inflator was manufactured by Joyson Safety Systems, the company that, in 2018, purchased the now bankrupt Japanese supplier Takata, which was responsible for the largest recall in automotive history because of defective airbags. Stellantis said these inflators do not use the same design as the recalled Takata airbags.

The report cited five instances of customers complaining about the issue. A spokesman said that four of those five cases occurred in the Middle East and that the vehicles were parked in all five cases. The company also said that it was unaware of any injuries related to the defect.

Last month, Jeep, which is also owned by Stellantis, recalled more than 330,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees — modeled between 2021 and 2023 — because of steering wheel issues.

Leave a Comment