DETROIT — Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than 1.6 million vehicles worldwide — including 88,830 in Canada — to replace Takata front passenger air bag inflators that can be dangerous.
Takata inflators can explode with too much force, hurling shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 23 people have died from the problem worldwide and hundreds injured.
The recall covers the 2010 through 2016 Jeep Wrangler SUV, the 2010 Ram 3500 pickup and 4500/5500 Chassis Cab trucks, the 2010 and 2011 Dodge Dakota pickup, the 2010 through 2014 Dodge Challenger muscle car, the 2011 through 2015 Dodge Charger sedan, and the 2010 through 2015 Chrysler 300 sedan.
It's part of the largest series of automotive recalls in U.S. history. About 10 million inflators are being recalled this year. Already Ford, Honda and Toyota have issued recalls in the latest round.
Fiat Chrysler owners will be notified by letter and dealers will replace the inflators with safe ones. The company says it's not aware of any injuries in vehicles involved in this recall, but says it has plenty of replacement parts and is urging people to get the repairs done.
"Recall service is free, we have replacement parts and dealers are ready to help," Mark Chernoby, FCA's head of safety for North America, said in a statement.
The recall includes 1.4 million vehicles in the United States; 12,821 in Mexico; and 118,084 outside of the NAFTA region.
Takata used the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the air bags. But the chemical can deteriorate over time due to high humidity and cycles from hot temperatures to cold. The most dangerous inflators are in areas of the South along the Gulf of Mexico that have high humidity.
Earlier this week, Toyota Motor Corp. said it is recalling another 1.7 million vehicles worldwide — about 376,282 of them in Canada. And last week, Ford Motor Co. said it was recalling 953,000 vehicles worldwide.
About six million Takata airbags need replacement in Canada, in some cases both the driver and front passenger units, Transport Canada said.
Only about 40 per cent of the defective units — roughly 2.3 million airbags — had been replaced as of early August 2018, Transport Canada said late last year.
Automakers in the United States repaired more than 7.2 million defective Takata airbag inflators in 2018 as companies ramped up efforts to track down parts in need of replacement, according to a report released last month.