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Takata adds another 3.3 million vehicles to its airbag recall

AirbagsTakata is recalling 3.3 million more defective airbag inflators as the largest auto recall in the United States is being expanded.

In May 2016, a phased recall began due to previous Takata air bag incidents. The recall will continue through December 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Toyota, Honda, General Motors, BMW, and Tesla vehicles are among the 15 automakers involved in the latest recall expansion. More information on makes and models will be released by the company later.

In the late 1990s, Takata began developing airbag inflators that relied on ammonium nitrate as their primary propellant. As early as 2000, Takata knew that some ammonium nitrate-based inflators weren’t performing to the specifications required by auto manufacturers. Takata also knew that some inflators had failures, including ruptures, during testing, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

When ruptures occur, passengers can be injured and killed by shrapnel. At least 13 deaths and hundreds of injuries have occurred in the United States.  

Replacement of the defective Takata airbags has been slow, according to a report by an independent monitor.

The five companies with the lowest percentage of recalls completed are Mercedes Benz, 2 percent; Mitsubishi, 23 percent; Mazda, 28 percent; BMW, 29 percent; and Fiat Chrysler, 30 percent, according to Consumer Reports.

Automakers with the best completion rates at the end of October include Honda, 65 percent; Subaru, 50 percent; GM, 46 percent; and Toyota, 46 percent. Tesla, which has a smaller number of cars with Takata airbags installed, has repaired 79 percent.

About 34 million vehicles are currently under recall for about 46 million defective Takata air bags. In addition, more air bags are scheduled to be recalled by December 2019 bringing the total number of affected air bags to 65-70 million.

Takata supplied defective air bags to many vehicle manufacturers for years, creating one of the largest and most complex recalls in U.S. history. NHTSA and vehicle manufacturers urge the public to get their vehicles fixed as soon as possible.

Check the NHTSA website for information about the Takata airbag recalls. The agency has a list of vehicles that it says are in need of urgent repair.

Vehicles currently under recall are searchable using NHTSA’s Recalls Lookup Tool and are included on a list of affected vehicles. Vehicles that are scheduled to be recalled in the future but are not yet searchable on the Recalls Lookup Tool are included in the list of affected vehicles located on the same web page as the lookup tool.


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