Urgent ‘Do Not Drive’ Warning Issued for 2003 Dodge Ram Pickups Following Air Bag Fatality

Description: Chrysler-parent Stellantis has issued a ‘Do Not Drive’ warning to 29,000 owners of 2003 Dodge Ram pickups following a fatal incident involving a Takata air-bag inflator explosion. Learn more about the urgent recall and the risks associated with faulty air bags.

Introduction: Chrysler-parent Stellantis has issued an urgent warning to owners of 2003 Dodge Ram pickups after a tragic incident involving the explosion of a Takata air-bag inflator, which resulted in a fatality. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that this is the first recorded fatality involving a Takata passenger-side air bag. With approximately 29,000 Dodge Ram pickups believed to still be on the road, the automaker has advised owners to refrain from driving their vehicles until repairs are completed.

Body: In November, Stellantis had already urged owners of 276,000 older U.S. vehicles to stop driving immediately following three crash-related deaths linked to faulty Takata air bag inflators reported in 2022. The scope of the recall extends beyond the United States, with over 67 million Takata air bag inflators being recalled globally, making it the largest auto safety callback in history.

Since 2009, there have been over 30 reported deaths worldwide, including 26 in the United States, along with numerous injuries caused by Takata air bag inflators. These defective inflators have the potential to explode, projecting metal shrapnel inside the vehicle and posing a severe risk to occupants.

The NHTSA confirmed the fatality involving a 2003 Dodge Ram 1500, one of the vehicles recalled in 2015, emphasizing that approximately 84,000 of these trucks remain unrepaired. Individuals driving these unrepaired vehicles are in grave danger, facing a high risk of serious injury or death.

Stellantis estimates that approximately 29,000 of the 2003 Dodge Ram trucks subject to the ‘Do Not Drive’ warning are still in use. NHTSA has explicitly advised owners of these vehicles to avoid driving them until the recall process is completed and the defective air bags are replaced.

In addition to the 2003 Dodge Ram pickups, Stellantis has identified around 233,000 2005-2010 Chrysler 300, Dodge Magnum, Challenger, and Charger vehicles that remain unrepaired despite previous stop-driving orders. Related

Conclusion: The recent fatality involving a Takata air bag inflator in a 2003 Dodge Ram pickup has prompted Chrysler-parent Stellantis to issue a critical ‘Do Not Drive’ warning to owners. With an estimated 29,000 of these pickups still on the road, immediate action is necessary to address the risks associated with faulty air bags. The recall serves as a reminder of the ongoing global effort to rectify the widespread issue of defective Takata air bag inflators and ensure the safety of vehicle occupants.

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