Takata airbag recall worsening
CNN Money reports more than 20 million cars, mostly ones made before 2008, using Takata airbags have so far been recalled due to the risk of violent explosions. The NHTSA “said that Takata is telling the 12 affected automakers that use its airbags that more recent airbags are also at risk of exploding,” the article reports, meaning age is not the only factor in why the airbags explode. Honda recently announced it is recalling a batch of newer cars. “Other automakers are likely to follow suit soon, said Gordon Trowbridge, spokesman for NHTSA,” the article reports. “This will not be the last. This is just the first,” he said. The US has seen nine deaths in connection to the faulty airbags.
Car and Driver reports Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.), in a letter to the White House Tuesday asked President Obama to intervene so Takata would “recall every airbag inflator in the US that uses the controversial ammonium-nitrate propellant, a substance that in Takata’s own testing has been highly susceptible to failure and difficult to control.” The NHTSA, “as part of a $70 million civil penalty against Takata in November, has directed the Japanese supplier to stop producing driver’s frontal airbag inflators with ammonium nitrate by the end of 2017 and to cease using those inflators in passenger- and side airbags by the end of 2018,” the article reports. Blumenthal and Markey called this deal “an outrageous dereliction of NHTSA’s basic duty to protect consumers.” They wrote, “We do not need to wait for yet another preventable death to happen in order to recall the remaining population of vehicles containing ammonium nitrate–propelled airbags.”