David Friedman, Deputy Chief of the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has said that a decision by the Chrysler Group to limit an expansion of a recall of vehicles fitted with Takata Corp.’s potentially faulty passenger-side airbag inflators has placed American drivers at risk.
He said the refusal defies common sense, adding that NHTSA will determine next steps and take action “to ensure that Chrysler shares our sense of urgency in the interest of public safety.” Friedman’s claims against Chrysler highlights the increasing tensions between the two entities.
This is also the second time this month NHTSA has publicly called out Chrysler for what it perceives as Chrysler’s failure in handling of vehicles fitted with possibly faulty Takata airbag inflators.
Chrysler earlier recalled of MY2003 Dodge Ram pickups, MY2004-2008 Dodge Durangos, MY2007-2008 Chrysler Aspens, MY2005-2008 Chrysler 300s and MY2005-2008 Dodge Dakota pickups in areas with humidity -- Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands.
This month, the recall was expanded to cover Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, as well as American Samoa, Guam and Saipan. The latest recall adds 149,150 vehicles to the initial figure of 371,000 vehicles.
The additional recalled Rams recalled covered only one of the two types of suspect Takata passenger-side inflator.