DETROIT — Stellantis Co. and U.S. government regulators have confirmed that a driver was killed when a Takata airbag inflator exploded.
The company and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have warned 274,000 drivers of older model Dodge and Chrysler cars to stop driving until the inflators are fixed.
Stellantis announced that two people died in November from the bags and another death is suspected from the inflators. The company, formerly known as Fiat Chrysler, confirmed a third death on Monday.
Stellantis asked people to stop driving Dodge Magnum, Dodge Challenger and Charger vehicles, as well as Chrysler 300 sedans from 2005 to 2010 models.
Since 2009, airbag explosions have killed at least 33 people worldwide, 24 of them in the United States.
The company said three deaths in the United States this year occurred after April in hot weather.
Takata uses ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion that inflates the airbags in a crash. But the substance can become more volatile over time when exposed to moisture and high temperatures. Inflators may explode with excessive force, splattering metal from the container.
The reason for this review is that it is possible for the high beam to remain on when the headlights are being used.
About 400 cases of injury have been reported, the majority in the United States, but also in Australia and Malaysia.
Stellantis vehicles were recalled in 2015 under a “do not drive” warning and have since been repaired free of charge. The dealership carries auto parts, and Stellantis will provide transportation of the vehicles to the dealership.
NHTSA said the most recent fatality was in a Chrysler 300.