Regulators are expected to announce that there will be at least 35-Million additional airbags that are made by Takata that will need to be fixed, as per a person that is reportedly briefed on the matter. The recall would then be more than double than what was the largest automotive recall in the history of America.
Takata to Recall More Airbags
The airbags that were made by Takata can unexpectedly explode. When it does, it could send metal parts flying all over the cabin of the vehicle. There has already been 11 deaths around the globe that have been linked with the aforementioned defect. Because of the additional 35-million units to be recalled, it would then make for a total of 63-million products to be returned within the United States. It could even possibly affect nearly one in four of the 250-million vehicles that are now currently populating America’s roads.
The issue of Takata’s airbags is that it uses a compound called ammonium nitrate, wherein it can become unstable over time or when it is exposed to moisture. The company has wrestled with the formula of the compound for years, and eventually made a drying agent that would make the element found on the airbag more stable. This new recall focuses on the airbags that do not have said drying agent.
Founder and chief executive of Valiant Market Research (an automotive consulting firm) Scott Upham, tells that the wider number of recalled airbags was an admission by Takata itself, more specifically that of its use of ammonium nitrate. The compound is that of a cheap, yet potent, one that is more often used and seen at large-scale sites such as coal mines. However, it was deemed as a safety risk.
“Finally, there’s enough scientific evidence to point to the humidity issue as affecting the propellant,” Mr. Upham stated. “For a long period of time, they denied that ammonium nitrate was to blame. But this does validate there are fundamental issues with the chemical itself.”
This was not the first time wherein Takata issued a recall for their airbags. Back in 2008, there was a recall of about 4,000 vehicles and the company even insisted for years that issues did not lie with the design of the airbag inflaters that has ammonium nitrate, but the problem was, instead, found to be the result of manufacturing flaws or quality control problems. Nevertheless, it did create doubts as the results of tests were found to be a failure, which may even lead to further issues such as the manipulation of data.