Automaker Stellantis is expanding its precautionary recall to other models over airbag concerns
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Automaker Stellantis is expanding its precautionary recall to other models over airbag concerns

Automaker Stellantis has proactively expanded its recall of vehicles with potentially defective airbags to more Citroen and DS models, as well as the Opel brand, automaker spokespeople told Reuters on Friday.

Citroen C4, DS4 and DS5 models, as well as Opel models, are now subject to a “precautionary measure”, which is less restrictive than the initial recall of Citroen C3 and DS3 models, which requires the immobilization of the vehicles concerned, they said. .

According to an Opel spokeswoman, the problem affects 29,000 Opel vehicles equipped with Takata airbags.

In early May, the group formed by the merger of PSA and FCA launched a large-scale Takata airbag recall campaign as part of its “stop drive” initiative, which covered 500,000 Citroën C3 and DS3 vehicles manufactured between 2009 and 2019 and located in 24 different southern European countries , Africa and the Middle East.

Stellantis is rushing to replace thousands of defective Takata airbags

Deployment of these airbags poses a safety risk because the chemicals they contain can be destroyed by hot and humid weather.

“The C4, DS4 and DS5 vehicles are based on different platforms and use different airbag references, for which no failures have been identified,” a Stellantis spokesman said.

“Opel vehicles are equipped with various airbags for which no failures have been reported,” he added.

According to the government’s “Rappel Conso” website, the deterioration of fuel – a product used to immediately deploy an airbag in the event of an accident – means the airbag could “rupture with too much force, injuring vehicle occupants.”

Japanese company Takata, once one of the world’s leading airbag suppliers, filed for bankruptcy in 2017 following a scandal that followed mass recalls of its products. Over the past decade, more than 100 million of the company’s products have been recalled worldwide, including seven million in the United States.

More than 30 deaths – including 27 in the United States – and more than 400 injuries have been attributed to airbags installed in vehicles from various manufacturers. Inflating defective equipment can also cause metal pieces to be thrown out, which could result in serious injury.

Asked about accidents attributable to airbags in Stellantis, a spokesman for the group said he could not comment on ongoing legal action.

“Stellantis is working closely with (accident investigating authorities) to provide all requested information” but “cannot comment on incidents.”

According to its 2023 annual report, the French-Italian-American carmaker has allocated €951 million to finance the extension of the Takata airbag recall campaign in extended Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

(Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; writing by Marine Strauss; editing by GV De Clercq)

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