The latest details of a troubling safety trend arrived Monday, when seven automakers issued eight recalls for cars that may contain airbags that could kill drivers instead of saving their lives.
BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota all announced recalls of cars that contain airbags manufactured by global supplier Takata. The number of cars affected is still being determined, but it’s expected the final tally will surpass 2.1 million vehicles.
The number of cars affected is still being determined, but it’s expected the final tally will surpass 2.1 million vehicles.
Instead of properly deploying during car accidents, these flawed airbags can explode and shower occupants with lethal amounts of metal debris and shrapnel. At least two people have been killed and 22 have been injured because of the malfunctions.
And Monday’s recalls are not isolated issues. Takata’s exploding airbags have been the subject of a long-running series of recalls that stretch back to 2001. Yet more than a decade later, the automakers whose cars contain the flawed airbags and the federal agency charged with keeping motorists safe on American roads are still grappling with the scope and severity of the problem.
"It’s both amazing and troubling that this thing has been going on for so long, and they can’t seem to get a handle on it," said Sean Kane, founder and president of Safety Research & Strategies, Inc., a firm that specializes in vehicle and product safety issues. "The recalls have shifting explanations of what’s happening. If you look at the outcome, it’s the same in all of them. It’s a pretty severe hazard that should have been remedied right out of the box."
Instead, the problem has proliferated. The first recall related to the exploding airbags came from Isuzu in 2001 and was followed by a Honda recall in 2008. More recalls occurred in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013. Earlier this month, Toyota issued the first recall in 2014 related to this nefarious problem. All told, there have been at least 20 recalls tied to the exploding Takata airbags over the past 13 years – and more may be coming.
The long history behind Monday’s massive airbag recalls originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 27 Jun 2014 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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