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Fiat Chrysler recalls 1.6 million vehicles over dangerous air bags

Detroit — The risk of exploding air bags made by Japanese manufacturer Takata continues to plague automakers. A day after Toyota announced it was recalling 1.7 million cars to deal with the potentially lethal part, Fiat Chrysler on Thursday recalled 1.6 million vehicles.

The Italian-American car giant said that the front passenger air bag inflators can be dangerous. Takata inflators can explode with too much force, hurling shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 23 people have died from the problem worldwide.

The recall covers the following Fiat Chrysler models and years:

  • 2010-2016 Jeep Wrangler SUV
  • 2010 Ram 3500 pickup and 4500/5500 Chassis Cab trucks
  • 2010-2011 Dodge Dakota pickup
  • 2010-2014 Dodge Challenger
  • 2011-2015 Dodge Charger sedan 
  • 2010-2015 Chrysler 300 sedan

Fiat Chrysler owners may check to see if their vehicle has been recalled at the company's designated site and call (866) 220-6765 to schedule an appointment to fix the air bags.

It's part of the largest series of automotive recalls in U.S. history. About 10 million inflators are being recalled this year. Already Ford, Honda and Toyota have issued recalls in the latest round. 

Federal transportation regulators say that prolonged exposure to high heat and humidity can cause Takata air bags to explode when deployed.

Airbags recall of Toyota, Scion Lexus models includes 1.7 million cars

More than three years after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took over management of recalls involving Takata inflators, one-third of the recalled inflators still haven't been replaced, according to an annual report from the government and a court-appointed monitor last year. The report said 16.7 million faulty inflators out of 50 million under recall have yet to be fixed.

Separately on Thursday, Fiat Chrysler agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars, including a $300 million fine to the U.S. government, to settle allegations that the automaker cheated on emissions tests.

Under a deal with the U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency, the automaker will recall and repair the more than 104,000 out-of-compliance Jeep SUVs and Ram pickup trucks.

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