Takata recalls additional 2.7 million vehicles over faulty airbag inflators.
ABC World News Tonight (7/11, story 9, 0:20, Muir, 14.63M) reported that Takata is issuing a recall of “an additional 2.7 million vehicles because of a safety risk involving an air bag inflater.” The new recall includes “some Ford, Nissan and Mazda vehicles.”
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The company flagged these cars because they use calcium sulfate as a drying agent, which poses an explosion risk, the Wall Street Journal (7/11, Spector, Subscription Publication, 6.37M) reports, citing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration documents made public in Tuesday. The recall was made “out of an abundance of caution” and not from any actual ruptures that might have occurred. However, the NHTSA indicated the recall was prompted by new testing of the air bag inflators, which have already lead to 17 deaths and more than 180 injuries worldwide, Reuters(7/11, Shepardson) reports. Nissan has said it will “recall 627,000 Versa cars from 2007-2012 model years, including 515,000 in the United States,” while “Ford spokesman John Cangany said the issue covers about 2.2 million Ford vehicles.”
The New York Times (7/11, Maidenberg, Subscription Publication, 13.9M) says that “exposure to moisture and temperature fluctuations can degrade the propellant, which contains ammonium nitrate, a volatile compound Takata’s inflaters use to deploy airbags.” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) said, “This recall now raises serious questions about the threat posed by all of Takata’s ammonium-nitrate-based airbags.” He also urged regulators to quickly figure out “whether all remaining Takata airbag inflaters are safe.”
With this newest recall, Bloomberg News (7/11, Beene, Ma, 2.41M) says that a worst case scenario is that “abnormal rupture of inflators that have a desiccant might spur a recall of 130 million air bags worldwide,” which is up from the 68 million already set to be recalled through 2019. The piece says Takata is possibly looking at $13 billion in recall costs, according to analyst Takaki Nakanishi of Jefferies Group LLC.
Additional coverage includes the AP (7/11, Krisher), The Hill (7/11, Zanona, 1.25M), the AP (7/11), the Automotive Fleet (7/11, 62K), AutoBeat Daily (7/11, Subscription Publication), Autoblog (7/11, 459K), and ConsumerAffairs (7/11, Hood, 154K).
Takata airbag blamed for Florida man’s 2016 death. The Daily Beast (7/11, 1.11M) cites the New York Times in reporting that “one more death has been attributed to a defective Takata airbag.” A man was killed in June 2016 when the airbag in his 2001 Honda Accord exploded as he was using a hammer to conduct repair work. It is still unclear “what repairs were being attempted on the vehicle.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated this is the 12th US fatality linked to the defective air bag.