Takata May Expand Airbag Recall
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Nov 06, 2015 in Defective Products
Already the largest auto recall in U.S. history, the Takata airbag recall is likely to expand as investigators plan to include vehicles manufactured by General Motors (GM) and Volkswagen.
The largest airbag manufacturer in the world is also losing clients. Honda, Mazda and Mitsubishi have all dumped the supplier.
All injuries and deaths due to ruptured airbags have occurred in Honda vehicle models. To date, defective Takata airbags are responsible for at least eight deaths and 98 injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now extending their investigation, looking into accidents where side airbag inflators in GM and Volkswagen vehicles have ruptured.
In October 2015, GM announced the recall of 400 additional vehicles affected by the Takata airbag malfunctions. The majority of these recalls include 2015 models, such as:
- Chevrolet Equinox, Camaro, and Malibu
- Buick LaCrosse
- Cadillac XTS
- GMC Terrain
Causes of Airbag Rupture
Defective Takata airbags have been found to rupture on deployment, sending shrapnel toward drivers and passengers. While investigators havent uncovered the precise cause of the airbag explosions, they have determined that vehicles operated for five years or more in humid and hot environments are at the highest risk of experiencing an airbag explosion.
Airbags on the passenger side of affected vehicles are 10 times more likely to rupture than driver side airbags, though less likely to lead to death or injury. This may be because passengers typically sit farther back from airbags compared to drivers.
Accelerating Airbag Repairs
The NHTSA may force automobile manufacturers to repair defective Takata airbags on an accelerated timeline. Currently, 2.8 million replacement units are being produced each month. To date, 19 million vehicles have been recalled; six million have been identified as high priority by the NHTSA due to the location and age of the vehicle.