The airbag recall involving car airbags manufactured by Takata and already affecting over 30 million vehicles has been expanded. On May 4, Takata and the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a further expansion of the existing Takata airbag recall to include an additional 30-40 million vehicles for a total of 60-70 million affected cars. This Takata recall is one of the largest recalls in history and NHTSA imposed one of the largest fines in NHTSA history on the manufacturer, Takata.
The inflation device in vehicle airbags manufactured by Takata and installed in millions of vehicles resulted in one of the largest recalls by the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) in U.S. history. The company advised that the inflators in their airbags were manufactured with a propellant that can degrade over time, leading to ruptures in the bags, and the inflation devices. In some instances, when the inflation device ruptures, shards of the metal inflator are shot through the airbag and into the vehicle.
Takata, in cooperation with NHTSA, originally announced its recall of over 34 million airbags on May 19, 2015. So many cars were affected by the recall that NHTSA released a list prioritizing the order of repairs of affected cars to ensure an orderly repair process.
Ruptures of the Takata airbags have been linked with over 100 injuries and 10 deaths in the United States.
The Science Behind the Airbag Recall
A combination of time, environmental moisture and fluctuating high temperatures contribute to the degradation of the ammonium nitrate propellant in the inflators. Such degradation can cause the propellant to burn too quickly, rupturing the inflator module and sending shrapnel through the air bag and into the vehicle occupants.
“The science clearly shows that these inflators become unsafe over time, faster when exposed to humidity and variations of temperature,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “This recall schedule ensures the inflators will be recalled and replaced before they become dangerous, giving vehicle owners sufficient time to have them replaced before they pose a danger to vehicle occupants. NHTSA will continue to evaluate all available research and will act quickly to protect safety.”
NHTSA recommends that all owners regularly check for any safety recalls that might affect their car. Car owners can go to the government website www.safercar.gov to find out whether they have a vehicle affected by a recall. The website also gives consumers information about how to get their car fixed free if it is subject to a recall.
Complete information about the Takata airbag recall, including a list of affected cars, and the priority for repairs, can be found here: http://icsw.nhtsa.gov/safercar/rs/takata/
For an ABC News video about the expanded recall, click here:
If you or someone you love has been involved in, or affected by an accident involving a defective or recalled vehicle, contact an experienced personal injury attorney like Jason Thomas. Click here to request your free case review or call 817-442-2410. We have many years of experience dealing with automobile collision claims, jury trials, and insurance companies. Our clients are treated with compassion and attention. Call for a free consultation. We take cases on a contingent fee basis: you pay nothing unless and until we achieve a recovery for you. From our offices in Southlake, Texas we represent clients in Southlake, Grapevine, Colleyville, Keller, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, North Richland Hills, Dallas, Fort Worth, Denton, Trophy Club, Roanoke, and throughout the DFW Metroplex area.