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Fiat Chrysler recalling 1.9 million vehicles

Air bag defect linked to three deaths, five injuries

  • Photo
Reuters

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Thursday said it is recalling 1.9 million vehicles worldwide for an air bag defect linked to three deaths and five injuries.

The recall involves deployment of air bags and seat-belt pretensioners in some crashes. It affects models sold between 2010 and 2014, including the Chrysler Sebring, 200, Dodge Caliber, Avenger, Jeep Patriot and Compass SUVs.

Fiat Chrysler said the recall also includes the 2012-2013 Lancia Flavia midsize car.

The recall, involving 1.4 million vehicles in the United States, is the latest in a series affecting tens of millions of air bags for a series of problems.

Last week, General Motors Co said it would recall nearly 4.3 million vehicles worldwide due to a software defect that can prevent air bags from deploying, a flaw already linked to one death and three injuries. That defect is similar but not identical to the Fiat Chrysler issue.

Fiat Chrysler said the problem occurred when vehicles equipped with a particular control module and specific front impact sensor wiring are involved in certain collisions.

GM said in its recall that the module that controls air bag deployment has a software defect that may prevent frontal air bags from deploying in certain “rare circumstances.”

Fiat Chrysler said it no longer uses the occupant restraint controllers or wire routing design. The notice did not say when it will begin recall repairs, which spokesman Eric Mayne said the automaker is “finalizing.”

Automakers and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have been grappling with numerous recall issues.

In February, Continental Automotive Systems said it supplied potentially defective air bag control units to 5 million vehicles built over a five-year period. It said the units may fail and air bags may not deploy in a crash or may inadvertently deploy without warning.

In August, NHTSA said it was upgrading and expanding a probe of more than 8 million air bag inflators made by ARC Automotive Inc after a driver was killed in Canada when an inflator ruptured in a Hyundai vehicle.

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