Fiat Chrysler Recalling 4 Million Cars With Takata Air Bags

Massive Airbag Recall Prompts Safety Concerns
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By Bernie Woodall

DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) on Thursday became the first automaker to expand its U.S. recall of vehicles with faulty Takata air bag inflators since federal safety regulators announced a massive recall campaign last week.

The company said it would recall 4,066,732 vehicles from the 2004 to 2011 model years "equipped with a dual-stage driver frontal air bag that may be susceptible to moisture intrusion which, over time, could cause the inflator to rupture," according to a filing by Fiat Chrysler with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Last week, Japanese air bag maker Takata said it would double the recall of potentially deadly air bags to nearly 34 million in the United States, boosting the number of vehicles affected globally since 2008 to more than 53 million.

%VIRTUAL-WSSCourseInline-947%Takata officials and safety regulators have said that air bag inflators exposed to moisture over time can explode with too much force, shooting shrapnel into the vehicles. Regulators have linked this to six deaths worldwide.

Thursday's filing by Fiat Chrysler highlights that automakers and regulators are still seeking to pinpoint the root cause of the problem. This means that even with replacement parts, consumers have no guarantee that the safety issue has been solved.

Some of the more than 4 million vehicles involved in Thursday's move have been covered by previous Fiat Chrysler recalls involving Takata air bag inflators.

One injury has been reported among the Fiat Chrysler vehicles recalled. The car involved in that incident, a 2006 Dodge Charger, was part of a previous recall.

Honda Motor (HMC) also expanded its recall Thursday of vehicles with Takata air bag inflators by 350,000 in the United States and 340,000 in Japan. As with the new Fiat Chrysler recall, some of the vehicles involved have been part of previous recall campaigns, Honda said.