Chrysler recalls Dodge Viper over dangerous airbag deployment issue
Chrysler has announced the recall of model-year 2003 and 2004 Dodge Viper vehicles due to an airbag flaw. Specifically, certain vehicles contain a faulty airbag control module, which may fail causing the front airbags and/or seatbelt pretensioners to inadvertently deploy. Such an occurrence could increase the risk of injury and the likelihood of a crash. The recall, which concerns cars manufactured from November 1, 2001, through June 30, 2004, affects a total of 3,660 Vipers.
Chrysler will begin sending out interim notifications to owners this month. Authorized Chrysler dealers will repair affected Dodge Viper vehicles, free of charge. The remedy is expected to be available later this year. In the meantime, owners may contact Chrysler at 1-800-247-9753 or online by using Chrysler’s Recall Search function. Chrysler’s recall campaign number is N13. Concerned Dodge Viper drivers may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number is 13V-040.
Dodge Viper owners that have incurred out of pocket expenses in relation to the recall will be fully reimbursed by Chrysler. The automaker only asks that owners send the original receipts and/or proof of payment to confirm the expense.
Chrysler’s airbag recall stems from an investigation, which identified 87 reports of inadvertent airbag deployment. Of the 87 reports, 50 resulted in injuries. The injuries included cases of cuts, bruises and burns to the upper body. Forty-two of the 87 incidents involved the driver frontal airbag, while the remaining 45 involved both the driver and frontal airbags. All of the incidents involved the airbags deploying without a crash.
In come cases, owners reported that the airbag warning light became illuminated, or had intermittently illuminated prior to deployment. Others, however, stated that their airbag warning light did not illuminate.
Chrysler’s recall of the Dodge Viper comes just one day after the automaker recalled 360,000 SUVs and pickup trucks to fix a rear axle problem. The recall concerns 2009 Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen SUVs, 2009 to 2011 Dodge Dakota and 2009 to 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup trucks. Thursday’s recall is an expansion of a September recall involving 44,000 pickups.
Affected SUVs and trucks contain problematic rear axle pinion buts, which may loosen due to the absence of an adhesive patch. As a result, the axle may lock up and produce a loss of vehicle control. In some cases, the loss of vehicle control may result in a crash and/or injury.