Recall of faulty air bags continues to plague the auto industry. This recall involves as many as 69 million inflators in the U.S.
Toyota, Volkswagen, Fiat, Chrysler and Mitsubishi continue to sell new cars with faulty air bag inflators manufactured by the Japanese company, Takata Corp. Recently, I blogged about this worldwide recall, and its impact on the auto industry. Now many 2016 and 2017 model year cars are knowingly being sold with faulty air bag inflators. Consumers beware! After purchase of one of these cars the new car owner will receive a recall notice to replace the faulty inflator because manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand to replace the air bag inflators prior to purchase. The bottom line: money.
Takata Corp. uses ammonium nitrate, a chemical that inflates an air bag upon impact. These airbags lack the drying agent to prevent moisture from building, a phenomenon cited as contributing to explosions. Experts have said this chemical can degrade overtime and in a crash can explode with too much force, rupturing the airbag and shooting shrapnel into drivers and passengers. Other air bag manufactures including rival company Autoliv and TRW use a more expensive compound averaging around $5 more than a Takata air bag inflator. And, $5 per vehicle is a huge savings for carmakers when multiplied by tens of millions of cars.
Automakers have recalled more than 16 million cars with these faulty airbags. This safety problem has already been linked to a reported 11 deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide. Additional recalls are expected in the month and years ahead.
These recalls are being carried out in stages and US officials are executing these plans by prioritizing the states with hot and humid climates where airbags are more likely to rupture.
Takata has expressed regret over the safety defects and is cooperating with automakers on fixing vehicles.
This historic recall is anticipated to end by December 2019 – years from now.
See if your vehicle falls within the recall here.