Stellantis warns vehicle owners to park thousands of older models after airbag dies

DETROIT (AP) — Stellantis is warning owners of 276,000 older cars to stop driving after Takata drivers’ airbags apparently exploded, killing three more.

The company, formerly Fiat Chrysler, is calling on people to stop driving 2005-2010 Dodge Magnum wagons, Dodge Challenger and Charger muscle cars, and Chrysler 300 sedans.

Stellantis says it has confirmed that an airbag inflator blew in two cases, killing two people. The company suspects an ruptured inflator in another case where a driver died.

The death toll brings the death toll from Takata airbag explosions to at least 32 worldwide.

All vehicles were recalled in 2015 and have been repaired free of charge since then. Stellantis said it made multiple attempts to contact the owner, but no repairs were made.

“The more unrepaired these particular vehicles are, the higher the risk of airbag rupture,” Sterantis said in a prepared statement on Thursday.

Takata used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the airbag in the event of a crash. However, this chemical can become more volatile over time when exposed to moisture in the air and repeated high temperatures. The explosion can blow off the metal canister and throw debris into the vehicle.

At least 67 million inflators were recalled in the largest series of vehicle recalls in U.S. history due to potentially dangerous malfunctions. The US government says millions are not repaired. About 100 million inflators have been recalled worldwide.

Most deaths occur in the United States, but there have also been cases in Australia and Malaysia. Stellantis warns vehicle owners to park thousands of older models after airbag dies

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