Home Uncategorized Takata recall of 10M inflators could be last of air bag saga

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Takata recall of 10M inflators could be last of air bag saga

by Ace Damon
Takata recall of 10M inflators could be last of air bag saga

DETROIT –
Takata is collecting 10 million more front airbag inflators sold to 14 different automakers because they can explode very hard and shoot shards.

The recall is the last the bankrupt company agreed to in a 2015 deal with US safety regulators. That could end the largest series of auto recalls in US history.

The 10 million inflators are among the approximately 70 million in the US that Takata was due to recover as part of the deal with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Vehicles manufactured by Audi, BMW, Honda, Daimler Vans, Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen are affected.

Automakers will determine which models are affected and will launch their own recalls. Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Honda and Mazda have already made announcements.

The collected inflators were used to replace Takata's dangerous ones until a permanent remedy could be developed.

Takata used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the airbags. The chemical can deteriorate over time when exposed to high temperatures and humidity and burn very quickly, separating a metal can and throwing shards.

Permanent replacements do not use ammonium nitrate.

At least 25 people were killed worldwide and hundreds were injured by Takata inflators. About 100 million inflators are being recovered worldwide.

In paperwork released Wednesday on the NHTSA website, Takata said the 10 million figure is an estimate and that many of the inflators were never installed in vehicles. The company said it does not know how many vehicles were affected.

But the numbers are still huge. Subaru, for example, issued a recall of nearly half a million vehicles on Wednesday to replace Takata inflators that were used as temporary fixes. The recalls cover vehicles from model years 2003 to 2014, including some Forester, Baja, Impreza, WRX, Legacy and Outback models. Also covered are the 2005 and 2006 Saab 9-2x manufactured by Subaru for General Motors.

Owners can verify that their vehicles have been redeemed by entering their 17-digit ID number on the NHTSA website.

All Takata recalls are being implemented according to vehicle age and location. The southernmost registered vehicles, where conditions are hot and humid, have priority.

The latest recalls could end a saga that began with the first recall in 2001 and has turned into what is collectively the largest recall in US automotive history.

There are still some unresolved issues. Takata had until late 2020 to prove that inflators using ammonium nitrate with a moisture absorbent product are safe. If it cannot be proved, Takata will need to recover millions of inflators. NHTSA has not yet made a decision on these inflators.

In addition, General Motors, Ford and Mazda are seeking exceptions in Takata inflator recalls on millions of other vehicles. Companies claim their inflators are safe.

Takata's remains were bought by Chinese-owned Key Safety Systems for $ 1.6 billion (175 billion yen). The successor company is called Joyson Safety Systems.

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