Takata recalls 3.3 million air bags

Violet Powell
January 10, 2018

By the end of this year, Japan-based airbag maker Takata Corp. will have recalled about 65 million cars sold in the United States that included defective airbag inflators made by the company.

If sources are to be believed, Takata has identified at least 19 automotive industry players that have purchased the airbags, comprising Toyota, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Nissan, Subaru, BMW, Daimler Vans, Mazda, Ford, Mitsubishi, Honda, Jaguar-Land Rover, Fiat Chrysler, and General Motors. But the chemical can deteriorate when exposed to high humidity and temperatures and burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister.

Takata supplied the defective air bags to many vehicle manufacturers, creating one of the largest and most complex recalls in US history.

According to the NHTSA, 34 million vehicles are under the recall for approximately 46 million defective airbags.

Since the recall began, Takata has filed for bankruptcy, been fined $1 billion, and three executives have been convicted for falsifying data. NHTSA is prioritizing the recalls, putting older models, those in "highest danger zones" in the first priority group.

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Vehicle manufacturers are slated to give specific models in documents to be filed this month with federal regulators.

Many automakers have been slow to replace the potentially deadly inflators.

Notices of the expanded recalls were posted Saturday on the agency's website. A report by an independent monitor said that as of September 15, 2017, automakers have recalled 43.1 million inflators. While Takata says only vehicles with prolonged exposure to hot and humid conditions are affected, all cars with the faulty inflators are subject to recalls. Of those, only 18.5 million, or 43 percent, have been replaced even though Takata recalls began in 2001. The agency also has the authority to fine automakers that don't make recall repairs in a timely manner. You can also use their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) tool to see if your vehicle is part of the recall.

The latest recalls cover frontal air bags in certain 2009, 2010 and 2013 vehicles.

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