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FAULTY AIR BAGS ARE A BIG CONCERN FOR REGULATORS AND AUTOMAKERS

Posted on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 at 6:19 pm    

A recent article in The New York Times reported that one-third of the 30 million cars recalled in the United States this year were recalled for potentially faulty air bags.  And on June 23rd, several automakers announced they would be recalling more than three million vehicles because their air bags, manufactured by Takata, could rupture and discharge debris inside the car.

According to The New York Times article, what occurs is that because the propellant was not properly prepared, this creates more pressure than intended causing the air bag’s inflator’s metal case to rupture.  This can result in shards of metal being sent into the passenger compartment of the automobile.

The recall announced on June 23rd is in response to an investigation opened earlier this month by NHTSA after it received complains of injuries caused by the air bag’s inflators rupturing. The recall included vehicles manufactured by Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Ford, Chrysler and BMW.

The Times article also reported that, Takata said that it had improperly stored chemicals and mishandled the manufacture of explosive propellants, used in its air bags, at its plant in Mexico. And, Takata apparently failed to keep adequate records regarding quality control adding to the difficulty in identifying the vehicles with the potentially defective air bags.

Honda appears to have been hit particularly hard having to recall a total of approximately 7.7 million vehicles because of problems with inflators provided by Takata.  A Honda spokeswoman said that Honda was aware of more than 30 injuries and two deaths in the United States related to the Takata air bags.

For more information on this problem see: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/24/business/international/honda-nissa…and-mazda-join-recall-over-faulty-air-bags.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0