AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — Chrysler is recalling 149,150 2003 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks in seven U.S. states and several territories to replace the front passenger-side airbag inflators, the automaker said late Wednesday.
The expanded recall to fix Takata-supplied inflators covers trucks sold or ever registered in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan and the Virgin Islands.
The recall, which covers more high-humidity states, will "address concerns about improper airbag deployment," Chrysler said.
Affected customers will be notified starting January 19.
However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration described the expanded recall as "insufficient."
"Chrysler's latest recall is insufficient, doesn't meet our demands and fails to include all inflators covered by Takata's defect information report," NHTSA said in a statement. "NHTSA will determine next steps and take appropriate actions to ensure Chrysler acts to protect its customers."
A Chrysler spokesman did not respond directly to an Edmunds query asking for comment about the NHTSA charge, referring only to the official Chrysler recall statement.
It is not clear if NHTSA will issue a formal demand to force Chrysler to recall more vehicles.
Chrysler said it is "unaware of any related injuries or accidents involving these inflators in the affected vehicles. Nor has Chrysler Group observed failures in laboratory testing of its airbag modules."
It added: "However, these inflators have been linked to two failures in vehicles produced by other automakers. In these incidents, which occurred in Puerto Rico and southern Florida, airbag deployment was accompanied by component ruptures."
The previous recall was limited to vehicles sold or registered in high-humidity areas of Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The automaker said it "continues to study this issue with great urgency. At this time, data analysis indicates the front passenger-side inflators in the affected pickups represent the only additional risk outside the above-mentioned areas. The inflators are of a type that is not used in any of the other vehicles affected by Chrysler Group's regional field action."
Edmunds says: Consumers with questions should contact Chrysler at 1-800-853-1403 or contact their local dealer for next steps.