On July 27th, we brought you a story regarding Fiat Chrysler and the order requiring it to buy back nearly half of a million trucks for major safety concerns. Well today, just a week later, I’m reporting that Chrysler has issued yet another safety recall – this time involving 2011 Dodge Chargers through 2014 Dodge Chargers.

It all started with a safety recall on July 25th that affected more than 660,000 trucks in the United States. It was found that the restraint control modules used in the pickup trucks were incorrectly calibrated, which could result in the accidental deployment of not only seatbelt pretensioners, but the side curtain airbags as well. After this was discovered, Chrysler continued to investigate the rest of the vehicles in its lineup and determined the same problem existed with 284,153 Dodge Chargers. There are also nearly 40,000 vehicles outside the U.S. market that are affected by this problem.

According to Chrysler, actual complaints related to accidental deployment only accounted for 0.005 percent of Dodge Rams recalled, and related complaints from accidental deployment in the Charger only account for 0.01 percent of those recalled. Chrysler claims most accidental deployments have been caused by excessive slamming or kicking of the doors, and there have only been three minor injuries to date. If you own a Charger that is affected by the recall, you’ll be notified by mail when you can schedule an appointment to have the module recalibrated. In the meantime, they ask that you exercise caution when shutting the doors on your Charger.

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Why it matters

First off, let me just say that these constant recalls are getting absolutely ridiculous and are more common than ever. We’re not talking about recalls for shoddy paint or minor fluid leaks, but serious safety issues.

The NHTSA has held Chrysler accountable for failing to address safety concerns quickly, but I think we need harsher punishments for manufacturers who continue to neglect putting safety first.

Chrysler tries to make itself look better by reporting low figures of complaints from affected vehicles, but the bottom line is they’ve dropped the ball – like other manufacturers – again and again.

The NHTSA has held Chrysler accountable for failing to address safety concerns quickly, but I think we need harsher punishments for manufacturers who continue to neglect putting safety first. We’re talking about lives here, not just inconvenience.

Three minor incidents related to this most recent recall on the Charger is three too many. Chrysler’s press release doesn’t even take into consideration that the potential for loss of life does exist. For example, what happens if those side curtain airbags go off while someone is driving?

If shutting the door hard or kicking the door can cause deployment, so could anything else striking the door while the vehicle is in movement. In my opinion, our safety isn’t nearly as important to automakers as they claim. If it were that important to them, these recalls wouldn’t be so commonplace. The auto industry needs to pull it together – lives of your customers are more important than sales and cheaper production.

2015 Dodge Charger

2015 Dodge Charger - Driven High Resolution Exterior
- image 613916

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Press Release

FCA US LLC is conducting a voluntary safety recall to recalibrate control modules on approximately 284,153 U.S.-market sedans to prevent inadvertent side-curtain air-bag and seatbelt pre-tensioner deployment.

FCA US launched an investigation of certain cars following preliminary findings of a similar investigation involving certain trucks. The latter probe determined some trucks may be equipped with modules that have low deployment thresholds, a finding that triggered a recall in July 2015.

http://media.fcanorthamerica.com/newsrelease.do?id=16859&mid=

The car investigation since revealed inadvertent side-curtain air-bag deployment may occur if the vehicles’ doors are kicked or slammed with excessive force. The Company is aware of three potentially related injuries, all described as minor, but no accidents.

This latest campaign is limited to certain model-year 2011-2014 Dodge Chargers. Their modules have a unique calibration, which is influenced by door design.

Also subject to recall are additional vehicles approximating 13,169 in Canada, 2,484 in Mexico and 22,272 outside the NAFTA region.

Potentially related complaints account for less than 0.01 percent of the total recall population.

Affected customers will be advised when they may schedule service, which will be performed free of charge. In the interim, FCA US advises owners of these vehicles to exercise caution when closing doors

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