By on September 16, 2016

2012 Jeep Patriot Latitude, Exterior, front 3/4, Photography by Alex L. Dykes

This time, it’s Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ turn to recall a million-plus vehicles for airbags that might not deploy during a crash.

Yesterday, the automaker announced the recall of 1.9 million vehicles worldwide to fix a defect linked to three deaths and five injuries.

According to Reuters, the defect is “similar but not identical to” the defect behind the recall of 3.64 million General Motors vehicles earlier this week.

FCA says the vehicles’ airbags and seatbelt pretensioners could fail during a crash. Like the GM case, FCA says the failures occur in specific crashes, but won’t say what kind of collision. At the heart of the issue is a faulty control module and front impact sensor wiring.

The faulty equipment was installed in certain 2010 to 2014 Chrysler Sebring/200, Dodge Caliber, Avenger, Jeep Patriot and Compass vehicles. Most of the affected vehicles — 1.4 million — were sold in the U.S.

As FCA grapples with its recall, it isn’t alone. Very few automakers have escaped the slew of airbag malfunctions and associated recalls. Besides GM’s massive effort, the National Highway Transportation Administration is investigating potentially deadly ARC Automotive airbags installed in some Hyundai, Kia, FCA and GM vehicles. Multiple automakers are in the process of recalling up to 100 million vehicles fitted with explosive Takata airbags.

It’s not just in the owners’ best interests for FCA to get this recall right. Last year, the NHTSA fined the company $105 million for botching an earlier recall of 11 million vehicles.

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13 Comments on “Faulty Airbags Force Fiat Chrysler Recall of 1.9 Million Vehicles...”

  • avatar

    All this recall business for a supplemental restraint system that automakers were required by the government to install. Does the government take any responsibility for not setting other standards related to their installation?

    • 0 avatar

      And if a mistake is made in following the standards related to their installation and a recall is necessary should the government take responsibility for not setting other standards relating to the implementation of the standards relating to the installation of airbags? Where does it end?

      Human error and defects (both accidental and unintentionally designed) happen. There is no way to completely avoid it. That is why there is a recall system in place to begin with.

    • 0 avatar

      The government should take responsibility when my brake lamps burn out, afterall, they mandated that I have them. I’ll send them a bill, let you know how it goes.

      • 0 avatar

        Only the third, middle one they mandated. Two are enough, why should you pay to maintain the third one because the government won’t crack down on inattentive drivers?

        Same thing with tire pressure monitors. The government is mandating expensive measures for lazy, stupid people!

        I don’t care that they’re “safety” measures. The government is refusing to address the real problem: people who shouldn’t be driving or even owning cars. But a stupid person’s vote is still a vote.

        You may think that’s a crazy argument, or I’m being facetious, but the fact is, the government should be addressing the lack of personal responsibility, not saddling others with expensive measures to make up for those who don’t have any sense.

        It’s a BIG problem. Just remember the words of George Carlin:

        “Imagine how stupid the average person is, and then realize 50% of the population is even stupider than that!”

        • 0 avatar

          “Only the third, middle one they mandated. Two are enough, why should you pay to maintain the third one because the government won’t crack down on inattentive drivers?”

          Absolutely incorrect. Please read the FMVSS regarding vehicle lighting requirements. Even small items like DOT markings or CCC (if going to China) are required.

          • 0 avatar


            If you want to live in a country free from the burden of highway safety regulation it is my understanding that Somalian immigration standards are VERY lax.

          • 0 avatar

            Awww. You and APaGttH didn’t get the joke. I must be in the wrong nightclub.

        • 0 avatar

          I think that George Carlin, towards the end, wasn’t really joking anymore.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Faulty seatbelt pretensioners seems like a Big Deal in a crash, perhaps even more than an undeployed airbag.

  • avatar

    What weird quirk allows both these nanufacturers recalls to maintain secrecy with regard to the conditions under which thier safety systems fail to perform? There would almost have to be some greater good intetest, as if being rear ended and pushed into something didn’t allow deployment, and there was feat that unscrupulous people might use the information to kill for profit. That’s a reach, someone give me a simpler explanation so I can Occam this out of my head.

  • avatar

    With the frequency of the airbags being deployed, I’ve always felt this was some sort of a conspiracy.

  • avatar

    And in other recall news around airbags, GM is fighting against having to recall one-million GMT900 vehicles equipped with Takata airbags because they want to do a study to see if it is necessary.

    As reprehensible as VW, Mitsubishi and Toyota’s practice of building new vehicles with Takata airbags already on the recall list into 2017. Recall the flippin’ things.

  • avatar

    With all of the “million vehicle” airbag recalls being announced/already in place, how and when will production of NEW non-faulty airbags ever catch up? I’m still waiting for parts for the one in my Honda!

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