Feds Believe Takata Airbag Inflator Recall May Grow Up to 90 Million More
Feb 23, 2016 08:30 AM EST
Auto safety regulators from the US are currently studying whether or not they should recall defective airbag inflators, as they have a risk at endangering drivers. Announced earlier, automakers have already issued recalls for around 25 million vehicles carrying these defective airbag inflators manufactured by Takata Corp. Once approved, the recall will add from 70 million to 90 million airbag inflators to the recall list.
According to Autoblog, the 25 million recalled airbag inflators have already made this the biggest consumer-product recall in the US. By adding more defective airbag inflators, it would make it a much larger scope for the recall. Aside from the 25 million defective airbags recalled, federal regulators are still studying whether or not the additional number of airbags could be risky to the drivers behind them.
The report was first unveiled by Reuters, who covered the report as it was developing on Monday. Once federal authorities determine that these airbags are also defective, the total number of recalled vehicles affected in the US alone with grow to at least 105 million. This number is already considered a rough 40% of the total vehicle fleet in the country. While the 70 million to 90 million number may be too much, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact numbers of affected vehicles. This is because there are some vehicles that could contain more than one defective inflator.
Fortune also shares that once the number of recalls increases substantially, it could lead to an overwhelming problem not just on the auto industry but also on government regulators. Adding to that, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has already estimated that all the affected vehicles won't be completed until 2019.
This has prompted the NHTSA to examine whether all airbags make use of ammonium nitrate; in which case a recall needs to be done.
Past reports show that the defective airbags have killed ten motorists and have injured at least a hundred more. This was because instead of normally deploying the airbag in the event of a car accident, the defect resulted to the airbags exploding and spraying a lethal amount of shrapnel to the occupants of the vehicle. With millions of cars that could be affected by this airbag inflator problem, millions of motorists could also be risking their lives driving around with a deadly and defective airbag.
While there has been no root cause for the malfunctioning airbags, investigators have concluded that the chemical used is unsafe after years of investigation. Takata, for its part, has agreed that the chemical will be phased out of future production plans. They have also understood the need to recall such airbags and have promised to cooperate.