— Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) has been sued for equipping more than 20 models with Takata airbags at risk of exploding and sending shards of metal into occupants.
According to the plaintiffs, the following vehicles are included in the proposed class-action lawsuit.
- 2007-2009 Chrysler Aspen
- 2005-2012 Chrysler 300
- 2007-2008 Chrysler Crossfire
- 2005-2010 Chrysler SRT8
- 2008-2013 Dodge Challenger
- 2005-2012 Dodge Charger
- 2005-2011 Dodge Dakota
- 2004-2009 Dodge Durango
- 2005-2010 Dodge Magnum
- 2003-2009 Dodge Ram 1500/2500/3500
- 2007-2010 Dodge Ram 3500 Cab Chassis
- 2008-2010 Dodge Ram 4500/5500 Cab Chassis
- 2009-2011 Ferrari California
- 2010-2011 Ferrari 458 Italia
- 2012 Ferrari California
- 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia
- 2012 Ferrari 458 Spider
- 2012 Ferrari FF
- 2007-2012 Jeep Wrangler
According to the lawsuit, the owner of a 2009 Chrysler Aspen claims the vehicle has been recalled to replace the airbag inflators, but the dealer said there were no replacement inflators. Another plaintiff claims he stopped driving his 2015 Jeep Wrangler off road because he's concerned the Takata airbags may explode.
The plaintiffs claim FCA must have known the vehicles were equipped with the dangerous airbags because of prior actions and incidents that involved Takata.
The airbag company, now bankrupt, allegedly knew in the 1990s the ammonium nitrate was too dangerous to use. It's that chemical used as the propellant to deploy the airbags, but the chemical can explode when it becomes unstable.
The lawsuit alleges Takata admitted the ammonium nitrate was dangerous in a 1995 patent document that said the inflators "might even blow up" when affected by temperature changes. Takata also admitted the chemical changes at 90 degrees Fahrenheit and can expand and contract.
Chrysler also allegedly should have known about the airbags because a Takata factory exploded in 2006 because of ammonium nitrate. And in 2016, ammonium nitrate was involved in the death of a homeowner when a truck hauling Takata airbag parts crashed and blew up in Texas.
In addition, the lawsuit alleges FCA should have known about other automakers that experienced ruptured airbag inflators, starting with a 2003 incident in a BMW vehicle.
The plaintiffs claim they are in a scary situation because they are forced to drive recalled vehicles for months or maybe even years while waiting for Chrysler to make repairs. Owners also claim many airbag inflators that have been replaced were simply replaced with the same defective inflators.
The Fiat Chrysler Takata airbag lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan - Daniel Dwinnells, et al., vs. FCA US, LLC.
The plaintiffs are represented by Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP.