New York - Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US is to recall 3.3 million older-model vehicles worldwide due to concerns over faulty Takata airbags.
The move expands a previous recall that was implemented only in warm, humid climates in the United States, responding to a demand from regulators for a nationwide recall. About 2.9 million of the affected cars are in the United States.
The company said on Friday it would replace the driver's-side air-bag inflators made by Japanese auto parts manufacturer Takata, despite not having found them flawed.
“Neither FCA US, nor Takata Corporation, the supplier, has identified a defect in this population of inflators,” it said.
FCA US also said that the components were different from Takata inflators blamed for fatalities involving other automakers.
Certain airbags made by the Japanese auto parts company can deploy with excessive force, sending shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least five driver deaths, four in the US and one in Malaysia, have reportedly been linked to the problem.
TOTAL RECALL UP TO 3.7 MILLION VEHICLES
FCA US said all the tested airbags deployed as intended but that it would continue to study the suspect inflators, which are not used in the company's current production vehicles.
It said only one incident, in Florida, one of the areas covered by previous regional recalls, was linked to an explosive air bag and resulted in an injury.
“Nevertheless, the company is replacing the Takata components tied to that concern,” it said.
The total number of vehicles recalled worldwide for faulty Takata airbags had reached 3.7 million, it said.
The expanded recall affects an estimated 2.89 million vehicles across the United States, 258 586 in Canada, 66 436 in Mexico and 99 030 elsewhere, including several hundred in South Africa. We’re waiting on a reply from Fiat Chrysler Autombiles SA as to which models in this country are affected.