Automobile giant Fiat Chrysler is recalling 1.9 million cars around the world after a suspected air bag design flaw was linked to at least three deaths as well as five injuries. The recall is the latest problem to hit the company, and the latest major recall connected with air bags by multinational car companies, according to reports.
The air bag defect is thought to affect a number of models sold between 2010 and 2014 including the Jeep Patriot, Dodge Caliber, Chrysler Sebring, 200, Compass SUV and Avenger, reports Reuters. The 2012- 2013 Lancia Flavia is also being recalled.
In a number of incidents air bags have inflated without warning and in others air bags failed to inflate and seat-belt pre-tensioners failed to activate in crashes.
According to CNBC, "the issue occurred when vehicles equipped with a particular occupant restraint control module and front impact sensor wiring of a specific design are involved in certain collisions." The system is reportedly no longer incorporated into car designs.
Fiat Chrysler is already facing a possible law suit following the death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin. He died when he was pinned against a security fence by his own Jeep Grand Cherokee at home in Los Angeles in June 2016. The Jeep was found to have a transmission defect and the model had already been recalled but Yelchin had apparently purchased his from a dealership not then owned by the group.
Recently, General Motors (GM) said it would recall around 4.3 million cars due to a similar air bag problem on some of its models. The flaw has been linked to one death and three injuries. GM said the defect may prevent air bags deploying in certain "rare circumstances."
In one of the most serious car manufacturing scandals of recent times, Volkswagen (VW) recalled millions of vehicles around the world after it was revealed that software designed to check emissions had been rigged. The software made it appear that emissions from diesel engines were lower than they actually were.