Takata Airbag Recall Surges – Again
It’s already the largest safety recall in automotive history by a long shot, and it just got even bigger – Nearly double, in fact. Federal regulators have hit Japanese auto parts manufacturer with an order to recall another 40 million faulty airbags, boosting the total number of recalled units from 28.8 million rides made by 14 manufacturers to upward of 70 million and affecting virtually every major automaker. Estimates are that ultimately, nearly a quarter of all vehicles on America’s roadways will be subject to the recall.
When it’s all said and done, the recall is designed to take every Takata ammonium nitrate-based propellant driver and passenger frontal air bag inflator without a chemical drying agent off the roadways. It’s that volatile chemical mix that causes affected airbags to explode violently and unexpectedly, even in minor fender-benders, sending metal shrapnel flying through a vehicle’s cabin. These shards of debris can cause deadly penetration wounds in the faces, chests and hands of drivers and passengers. The expanded recallaction comes just a month after a Texas high school student became the 11th victim when she was killed in a relatively minor collision.
“Today’s action is a significant step in the US Department of Transportation’s aggressive oversight of Takata on behalf of drivers and passengers across America,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a prepared statement released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “The acceleration of this recall is based on scientific evidence and will protect all Americans from air bag inflators that may become unsafe.”
If you’re the registered owner of a ride believed to be outfitted with a recalled airbag, expect to get notification sometime between now and December 2019. We know – that’s a long time to be on the roadways in a ride with a potentially deadly problem. It’s a huge issue and there are a lot of needed new parts yet to roll off the assembly line. In the meantime, run your ride’s VIN through the NHTSA’s Safercar.gov VIN lookup app to see if it’s affected. And in any case, we here a E3 Spark Plugs urge you to stay safe on the roadways.