Automobile manufacturer Takata admitted nearly 34 million of its air bags
in use in U.S. vehicles are defective and have issued a recall. Affected
vehicles include BMW, Chrysler, Daimler trucks, Ford, GM, Honda, Mazda,
Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota.
According to Nissan, most of the affected cars are those which “currently
are or previously were registered in Florida and adjacent counties in
southern Georgia; Hawaii; Guam; Puerto Rico; Saipan; American Samoa; U.S.
Virgin Islands; and coastal areas of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi,
and Texas.” The high humidity index of these locations is thought
to be at least partly to blame.
According to the AP, a certain chemical present in the air bags is responsible
for their overly-rapid expansion, “blowing apart a metal inflator
and sending shrapnel into the passenger compartment.”
As recently as June 14th, Honda confirmed that the driver of a 2005 Civic died in Louisiana on April 5th as a result of a Takata air bag which had ruptured in their car. Honda
has since recalled over 5 million vehicles with Takata air bag inflators
in the U.S.
The head of the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration made the announcement on Tuesday at the conclusion
of a year-long struggle with Japanese manufacturer Takada concerning the
cause of the problems and the size of the recalls. The air bags are blamed
in the deaths of six people and for over 100 injuries.
If you are concerned whether your vehicle is to be recalled, the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration website will provide information
in this regard. This recall, the largest in U.S. auto history, is considerably
larger than the previous largest from 1980 involving transmission issues
in 21 million Ford cars.