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Old 20th May 2015, 10:24   #1
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Default Airbag maker Takata admits defects! Nearly 34 million cars recalled in the US

After almost a decade of denying that it's airbags were defective despite motorists being killed by exploding airbags and car makers issuing plenty of recalls for products equipped with them, the Takata Corporation finally admitted that the airbags made by them are indeed defective.

They agreed to double the number of vehicles recalled in the USA to nearly 34 million (about 1 in every 7 of the more than 250 million vehicles on American roads), which makes it the largest automotive recall in American history.

The said defective airbags can explode when they deploy, sending shrapnel flying into all directions inside a car's compartment. Till now, six deaths and more than 100 injuries have been connected to this fatal flaw.

Airbag maker Takata admits defects! Nearly 34 million cars recalled in the US-1107bizwebtakataartboard_1.png

Inside the canister, pellets of a propellant based on ammonia nitrate, a common compound used in fertilizer, are ignited and generate the nitrogen gas that inflates the airbag in a fraction of a second.


Takata has said manufacturing problems, together with exposure to moisture in cars in humid regions, can cause the propellant to degrade. This can make the propellant burn too strongly when the airbag is deployed, rupturing the inflater and sending metal fragments into the car’s interior and injuring the driver or passengers.
Takata, in a statement, said that the announcement was the culmination of a year of work with automakers and the safety agency.“We are committed to continuing to work closely with N.H.T.S.A. and our automaker customers to do everything we can to advance the safety of drivers,” said Shigehisa Takada, Takata’s chairman and chief executive.

Despite the sweeping nature of the announcement, the agency said it would not know exactly which models of cars would be recalled until it coordinated with automakers, which could be several days. The final number may change as more tests are performed, Mr. Rosekind said. Ten automakers, including Honda, Chrysler and Nissan, have recalled cars in the United States because of the defect.

Honda, the automaker that has been most affected by the Takata airbag recalls, said that it was reviewing the announcement to determine what fresh recall measures might be required. Honda already said that it was looking to other suppliers to provide replacement airbags.

Nissan, Chrysler, Toyota and BMW also said they needed to review the announcement before taking any further action. None of the automakers would say whether they expected to have access to enough replacement parts to repair all the cars potentially carrying defective airbags.

Officials at other affected automakers, including Ford, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Even now, Takata and automakers continue to search for the root cause of the defect. But in new filings with the safety agency, Takata went beyond its previous statements that there had been some errors in manufacturing and admitted to flaws in the airbags’ design and components.
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Old 20th May 2015, 13:00   #2
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Default Re: Airbag maker Takata admits defects! Nearly 34 million cars recalled in the US

So instead of being a protective measure such airbags are just sleeper explosives. Should there not be a criminal liability attached to such acts?
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Old 20th May 2015, 14:12   #3
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Default Re: Airbag maker Takata admits defects! Nearly 34 million cars recalled in the US

What worries me is few countries have the kind of legislation & consumer power as the USA. Takata might be recalling 34 million cars in the USA, but I have serious concerns about cars with defective airbags being used elsewhere in the world.

You only need an airbag once in your life. If it doesn't work as intended at that time...
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Old 20th May 2015, 14:19   #4
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Default Re: Airbag maker Takata admits defects! Nearly 34 million cars recalled in the US


I can' begin to imagine the potential effect this will have on the company's balance sheet. Since its a pretty big organization, I guess they would be able to tide over the tons of lawsuits etc that might pop-up.

On the other hand, I doubt if we will ever see a foolproof 100% safe airbag. There are just too many variables involved.

The ratio of accidents due to the actual airbags on the road, against those involved in accidents, should be good pointer that the airbags are not that faulty. Also there is no guarantee that the ones from other makers could be perfect considering that the basic idea on how the airbag deploys is the same.
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