Car News

FCA Eliminates Use of Troublesome Takata Airbag Inflators

The U.S. arm of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced it will cease the use of the non-desiccated ammonium-nitrate airbag inflators that are at the centre of the Takata airbag scandal.

That switch away from the troublesome component will happen next week in North America, and will go into effect in FCA's worldwide production by mid-September.

FCA says the last vehicle to use this type of inflator is the 2016 Jeep Wrangler, whose passenger-side front airbag is equipped with one. FCA says the vast majority of its vehicles' airbags use alternate propellants, while others use a type called dessicant-enhanced ammonium nitrate, and that "neither is associated with any inflator ruptures of the kind attributed to certain non-desiccated ammonium-nitrate inflators."

FCA assures us that unsold vehicles that are equipped with the non-desiccated inflators will be identified for customers, and will inform them that the vehicle will be recalled at some point in the future.

In other Takata airbag-related news, General Motors has voluntarily recalled nearly 1,500 full-size trucks and SUVs equipped with Takata airbags and that were originally sold or at one point registered in certain U.S. states or other jurisdictions, including American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. The elevated levels of heat and/or humidity experienced in these places could negatively affect the airbags and, in a crash, cause them to deploy with too much force and potentially break apart and propel metal fragments into the cabin.

General Motors' dealers will replace the front passenger-side airbag inflator in the affected vehicles.