(NAPSI)—When you plan road trips with family and friends, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is as safe as possible. Many vehicle owners may remember important tasks like changing the oil or replacing the wiper blades, but they often overlook the need to check for and repair open safety recalls.
Safety recalls can pose the risk of severe injury to passengers, so vehicle owners and operators should regularly check to see if any recent recalls affect their vehicle. An example of a recent announcement that consumers should be aware of is the urgent Stop-Drive Advisory issued in July to owners and custodians of model-year 2003 Ram 1500/2500/3500 pickups who have not replaced their recalled Takata air bags.
There are an estimated 29,000 unrepaired 2003 Ram pickups still on U.S. roads today and the vehicle’s manufacturer, FCA US LLC, is urging the owners and custodians of these vehicles to immediately stop driving them and contact a local authorized dealer to determine their recall status.
Free replacements for Takata air-bag inflators have been available for nearly 10 years and all costs are covered by the manufacturer. If your vehicle is affected by a Stop-Drive Advisory, you should call 833-585-0144 to discuss the best options for a free recall repair. FCA US can help arrange for your vehicle to be transported (free of charge) to an authorized dealership or schedule a mobile repair unit to come to your home. Once your vehicle is at a dealership or under the care of a mobile repair unit, your air bags can be replaced in about an hour.
Why It’s Important
This is an urgent safety matter. These Takata air bags have been recalled because they contain chemical compounds that may deteriorate as they age—particularly if exposed to hot, humid climates. Such conditions may cause these inflators to rupture on air-bag deployment (even in minor crashes), scattering razor-sharp debris capable of causing serious injury or death to vehicle occupants. The Stop-Drive Advisory has been issued due to heightened risk for certain makes and model years. The 2003 Ram pickup joins four other FCA-brand vehicles subject to a Takata-related Stop-Drive Advisory. Last year, FCA US announced Stop-Drive Advisories for the Chrysler 300, and Dodge Magnum, Challenger and Charger vehicles from model years 2005-2010.
What You Can Do
Regardless of whether your vehicle has a Stop-Drive Advisory on it, it’s not worth the risk for any vehicle to be on the road with an unrepaired air bag. If motorists are unsure if their vehicle has had its air bags recalled and would like to check, they are urged to call 833-585-0144, or enter their license plate number or Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) in the search engines atmopar.com/recalls (VIN only) or checktoprotect.org (license plate or VIN). The 17-character VIN is located on the driver’s side dashboard near the windshield and can be found on insurance and registration documents.
Keep yourself and your loved ones safe this summer by checking your vehicle for open air-bag recalls and getting them repaired for free.