FCA Will Stop Fitting New Vehicles With Potentially Defective Takata Airbags

2016 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 75th Anniversary edition 1 photo
Photo: Jeep
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has announced it will stop using Takata airbag inflators with non-desiccated ammonium nitrate. We are writing about a kind of airbag inflator that will be recalled by 2019 if Takata cannot prove to the NHTSA that the device is safe.
Only one model manufactured by the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Group was still using the non-desiccated ammonium-nitrated Takata airbag inflators, the 2016 Jeep Wrangler.

In the case of this model, the potentially defective parts will stop being fitted by next week. Concerning global production, the Takata component with non-desiccated ammonium-nitrate will exit production by mid-September.

Most airbag inflators used by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in the USA employ alternate propellants, while some use desiccant-enhanced ammonium nitrate.

As FCA explains in a statement, neither of the propellant types described above is associated with any inflator ruptures. So customers are safe, as the airbag inflators will operate properly and safely in the unfortunate case of an impact.

According to the automaker, the passenger-side airbag inflator of the 2016 Jeep Wrangler is the last Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S. airbag component to migrate from a non-desiccated ammonium-nitrate design. The company is unaware of any failures involving this inflator.

The Italian-American Corporation has noted that tests were performed on approximately 6,300 older versions of the component, many of which were subjected to “potentially problematic environmental conditions.” FCA notes that all inflators performed as indented.

The unsold vehicles fitted with the non-desiccated ammonium-nitrate airbag inflators will be identified for customers before purchase. Clients will be informed that the vehicles equipped with those inflators will be recalled in the future.

At the moment, the cars are not subject to recall so that they can be sold freely, but FCA has decided to introduce this measure for enhanced transparency towards customers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association has already specified a recall schedule for vehicles equipped with the non-desiccated inflators made by Takata. The plan is named Coordinated Remedy Program, and will focus on inflators which are subjected to high absolute humidity. Older units will be replaced first, as the degradation affects these parts over time, causing them to deploy with excessive force.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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