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business

Automakers in U.S. recall 1.7 million cars with Takata airbags

12 Comments
By TOM KRISHER

Subaru, Tesla, BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler Vans, Mercedes and Ferrari are recalling about 1.7 million vehicles to replace potentially deadly air bag inflators made by Takata Corp of Japan.

The inflators can hurl shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 23 people have died from the problem worldwide and hundreds more were injured.

The moves, announced Friday by the U.S. government, are part of the largest series of automotive recalls in U.S. history. About 10 million inflators are being recalled in the U.S. this year, with as many as 70 million to be recalled by the time the whole mess ends late next year.

Takata used the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the air bags. But the chemical can deteriorate over time due to high humidity and cycles from hot temperatures to cold. The most dangerous inflators are in areas of the South along the Gulf of Mexico that have high humidity.

The recalls, which began in 2001, are being phased in over time and managed by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Many of the recalls are limited to specific geographic regions in the U.S. Owners can check to see if their vehicles have been recalled by going to https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls and keying in a 17-digit vehicle identification number.

In the latest round, Subaru is recalling 826,144 vehicles, including various Forester, Legacy and Outback models from 2010 to 2014. Mercedes is recalling 288,779 vehicles from model years 2010 to 2017. Volkswagen is recalling 119,394 vehicles, including Audi and Passat models from 2015 to 2017. BMW is recalling 266,044 vehicles from 2000 to 2004 model years and the 2007 to 2015 model years.

The recalls also include 159,689 vehicles from Daimler Vans spanning model years 2015 to 2017. Tesla is recalling 68,763 Model S vehicles from 2014 to 2016 and Ferrari is recalling 11,176 vehicles of various models ranging from 2014 to 2018 model years.

As of December, automakers have recalled 50.36 million inflators and replaced 27.2 million of them. That leaves more than 23 million yet to be replaced, according to the NHTSA website.

Ford, Honda, Toyota, and Fiat Chrysler already released their 2019 Takata recalls totaling more than 5 million vehicles.

The recalls forced Takata Corp to seek bankruptcy protection and sell most of its assets to pay for the fixes.

© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

12 Comments
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Such a slow process, it has been ongoing for many years. It can't be good driving around with a potential explosive device in the front of the car.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@wanderlust - Such a slow process, it has been ongoing for many years. It can't be good driving around with a potential explosive device in the front of the car.

It is such a slow process because Takata was forced into bankruptcy and only have kept a skeleton crew manufacturing replacements. They estimate it will take more than a decade to replace them all worldwide. Another problem is finding mechanics that are prepared to do the work out of fear of getting paid. So far, only 30% have been paid for replacing them.

Takata knew these airbags were faulty for over a decade before the US took action against after tens of millions had been installed in cars around the world. The US took class action against the Japanese company bringing on their bankruptcy. However, nothing has happened to them in Japan. No litigation or even an investigation. The Japanese recall is nearly as extensive as that in the US, but it's not in the news at all. I had the inflator replaced in my Honda Stepwgn last year. It would seem that deadly corporate fraud is not a criminal offense in japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How. Is. This. Company. Still. In. Business????

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How is that no one is in jail?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Us trade war?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sad... as much as the problem the air bags may have caused... from victims to automakers and the manufacturers and suppliers, their air bags have started the safety programs based upon air bags for so many products other than just cars. As a result of the sad incidents, the improvements made have assured many industries besides the auto industry a method of preventing injuries and death due to extreme impact. The good and the bad from their products have made improvements in all areas from the materials used, the control systems, the placement of the bags in relation to the subjects to be protected, etc. to even the design of the vehicles themselves.

There may be blame and placement of responsibility on the part of the maker, but the auto manufacturers as well as the marketing arms have started to better inform and educate the final user of the need for caution and the proper method of placing themselves in the proper position to be properly protected. One aspect was the redesigning of the position of pockets top hold things in a vehicle that may cause the contents to "fly" into the subject to cause injury.

Therefore, from such incidents, with the p[roper attitudes and proper consideration, much better things are created and born.

Also, not ALL of the airbags are in the wrong position and placement or with the wrong releases. And not all airbags are faulty. But caution is always best. And replacement with a better one may be in order. However, there is no guarantee. There is no guarantee that one will not get into an accident or that the subject was in the expected proper position without things that may fly with the inflating bags.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

kazetsukai - I see what you're saying about airbags saving lives. However, according to reports, officials at Takata tried to cover up potential issues back when the first known accident occurred: https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/motoring/motoring-news/takata-alleged-to-have-known-about-airbag-defects-as-early-as-2000/news-story/080fdfd29b8931eb113fa9701d8f1785

23 lives lost. There's blood on their hands because they were slow and finally were forced to admit fault.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It is such a slow process because Takata was forced into bankruptcy and only have kept a skeleton crew manufacturing replacements. 

Are there no Camera companies who produce airbags?

It would seem that deadly corporate fraud is not a criminal offense in japan.

It is if you are not Japanese.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

But no other company has guts to do this business besise Takata. If some does, some will make a conplain again.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

backpackingnepal - what are you talking about?

There are any number of other Big airbag makers.

Autoliv, Joyson, TRW, Delphi etc.

Takatas demise has seen these groups grow.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are any number of other Big airbag makers.

Autoliv, Joyson, TRW, Delphi etc.

Yes, there are plenty of other companies which make the product. If it takes Takata so long to sort this out then it does not say much for their quality or reliability.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why is this still going on ? Takata Air Bags should have been totally recalled due to their potential danger to the Public and subsequent liability of damages to the Companies using them. Scandal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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