Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV recalled 1.9 million vehicles worldwide Thursday because of an air bag defect tied to three deaths.
More than 10 million vehicles have been repaired since defects in Takata air bags were first announced, including nearly 1.3 million FCA models.
Reuters reported the recall is aimed at resolving a problem involving air bag deployment and seat-belt pretensioners. The affected models include 2010-14 Chrysler Sebrings and 200s, Dodge Calibers and Avengers, and Jeep Patriots and Compass SUVs. CNBC reported 2012-13 Lancia Flavias also are involved.
The recall includes 509,000 vehicles outside the United States, including 143,000 in Canada and 81,900 in Mexico, Bloomberg reported.
General Motors last week said nearly 4.3 million vehicles would be recalled because of a software problem that could prevent air bags from deploying during a crash.
A Georgia couple earlier this month said the side air bags in their Jeep deployed without warning. Ron Preklasa told WSB-TV, Atlanta, he had received two recall notices from Fiat Chrysler but when he tried to schedule a repair, he was told the parts were unavailable.
“This is major, major stuff. If you’re driving and these air bags blow, you could have a tremendous accident. It’s traumatic and dramatic,” Preklasa said.
Elsewhere, two lawsuits were filed Wednesday involving Jeep Grand Cherokees that popped out of park and injured their drivers, accidents similar to the one that killed “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin.
“While common sense would dictate a vehicle’s shifter – an integral part of car design and safety – be user friendly and functional, Fiat Chrysler has knowingly sold these vehicles with a shifter that it self-describes as confusing,” said Steve Berman, one of the attorneys involved in the lawsuits, which were filed in New Hampshire and Virginia.
“Since we began our initial investigation, dozens of individuals have come forward with details of rollaway Jeep injuries. It is our hope that we can bring a swift end to the injuries and crashes caused by Fiat Chrysler’s gross negligence and concealment of this widespread defect.”
The New Hampshire plaintiff, Becky Peoples, was injured when her Jeep popped out of park and rolled over her legs after it knocked her face down and dragged her. Virginia grandmother Daneen Holcomb was injured when she briefly jumped out of her Jeep to put something in the mail. The vehicle popped out of park and severely injured her feet and ankles.
Some 811,000 vehicles allegedly have the defective gearshifts, and a national class-action suit has been filed to address the problem.