FCA stopping production of vehicles with suspect air bag inflators

FCA US announced today that it will stop NAFTA-market production of vehicles equipped with non-desiccated ammonium-nitrate Takata air bag inflators by next week. Global production is expected to end by mid-September.

Most inflators used in FCA vehicles employ alternate propellants. Others use desiccant-enhanced ammonium nitrate. Neither is associated with any inflator ruptures of the kind attributed to certain non-desiccated ammonium-nitrate inflators.

The 2016 Jeep Wrangler’s passenger-side inflator is the final FCA air bag component to migrate from a non-desiccated ammonium-nitrate design. The company is unaware of any failures involving this inflator.

In addition, tests were performed on nearly 6,300 older versions of this component, many of which were subject to potentially problematic environmental conditions. All performed as intended.

Unsold vehicles that are equipped with older versions of the inflator will be identified for customers. These customers will also be advised that the vehicles will be recalled in the future. They are not currently subject to recall.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has specified a recall schedule for vehicles equipped with these inflators. The schedule, known as the Coordinated Remedy Program, adheres to the findings of an exhaustive investigation by industry, government and third-party experts.

The investigation determined non-desiccated ammonium nitrate may degrade after several years of exposure to high absolute humidity. Such degradation may cause inflators to deploy with excessive force.

The Coordinated Remedy Program, to which FCA is committed, “ensures the inflators will be recalled and replaced before they become dangerous, giving vehicle owners sufficient time to have them replaced before they pose a danger to vehicle occupants.”

Customers with questions or concerns may contact FCA at 1-800-853-1403.