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Dodge Challenger joins airbag recall; Takata say no to victims' fund

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(Read caption) A 2010 Dodge Challenger. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will recall some Challenger vehicles with model years between 2008 and 2010 to replace driver-side airbags manufactured by Takata.

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The number of vehicles affected by the years-long Takata airbag recall has risen by 88,346 thanks to a new recall from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, select Dodge Challenger vehicles from the 2008, 2009, and 2010 model years have been recalled to replace driver-side airbags manufactured by Takata.

QUICK TAKATA RECAP

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If you feel you've lost track of the narrative in the Takata saga, you're not alone. Like most sagas, it's been over-long and overly complicated, slowed by recalls limited to specific geographic areas (e.g. the U.S. Gulf Coast), recalls limited to particular sets of airbags (e.g. driver-side and passenger-side), and one very resistant supplier (i.e. Takata). 

If you want a relatively full recap, you can find our latest here. But the bottom line is, Takata's airbags were -- and in some cases, still are -- made with a chemical compound that can become very unstable when exposed to moisture, causing airbags to explode when they deploy. Those explosions have caused scores of injuries and at least eight deaths.

Takata is losing business partners faster than Donald Trump, and yet the company is still dragging its feet, refusing to do the Right Thing. Late last week, Takata said that, no, it would not create a fund to compensate victims and their families. Which could be a deeply dumb business decision, because the majority of victims happen to have lived in the U.S., and Americans are known for two things: (a) their unwillingness to go metric and (b) their complete willingness to sue the pants off of anyone who does them wrong.

DODGE CHALLENGER RECALL

The Dodge Challenger recall is limited to vehicles that were built between September 19, 2007 and October 29, 2010. FCA says that it will mail recall notices to owners on August 14, 2015. However, because replacement airbag systems aren't yet available, these will just be interim notices, letting owners know about the recall. FCA will send out a second round of notices once it has received the proper parts. At that time, owners will be able to take their vehicles to dealers, who will replace drivers-side airbag inflators at no charge.

If you have questions, you're encouraged to contact FCA customer service at 800-853-1403 and ask about recall #R37. You can also call NHTSA directly at 888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #15V444000.

For NHTSA's complete list of vehicles affected by Takata airbag recalls, visitSaferCar.gov.


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