The biggest car recall in American history is its way. 34 million cars are recalled because of faulty airbags.
Drivers never think of airbags. They are there, invisible and you only need them when you crash. Obviously it would be nice if they work then when needed. Japanese airbag maker Takata has agreed under pressure of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall a huge number of faulty airbag inflators.
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The affected airbag inflators were made with a propellant that can degrade over time and has led to ruptures that have been blamed for 6 deaths already worldwide. The action expands the number of vehicles to be recalled for defective Takata inflators to now nearly 34 million.
“Today is a major step forward for public safety,” Secretary Foxx said. “The Department of Transportation is taking the proactive steps necessary to ensure that defective inflators are replaced with safe ones as quickly as possible, and that the highest risks are addressed first. We will not stop our work until every air bag is replaced.”
Shigehisa Takada, Chairman & CEO of Takata Corporation said in an announcement released by Takata, “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with NHTSA, which presents a clear path forward to advancing safety and restoring the trust of automakers and the driving public. We have worked extensively with NHTSA and our automaker customers over the past year to collect and analyze a multitude of testing data in an effort to support actions that work for all parties and, most importantly, advance driver safety. We are committed to continuing to work closely with NHTSA and our automaker customers to do everything we can to advance the safety of drivers."
The actions expand regional recalls of Takata passenger-side inflators, currently limited to areas of high absolute humidity, to nationwide recalls involving more than 16 million vehicles. They also expand the current nationwide recall of driver-side inflators to more than 17 million vehicles. It’s anticipated that the remedy of vehicles will be prioritized based upon risk, with the vehicles that present the greatest risk in terms of age and geographic location to be serviced first.
“From the very beginning, our goal has been simple: a safe air bag in every vehicle,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “The steps we’re taking today represent significant progress toward that goal. We all know that there is more work to do, for NHTSA, for the auto makers, for parts suppliers, and for consumers. But we are determined to get to our goal as rapidly as possible.”
Affected car brands include BMW, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. Car makers are in the process of creating VIN lists of the affected car models. Car owners can then use the VIN tool to check if their car needs to be recalled.
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The Department of Transportation has setup a site with the latest updates on this massive car recall.