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Senators Accuse Takata of Cover-Up in Air Bag Scandal

Yashica Kaushal8 months ago

After new reports of injuries related to faulty Takata air bags, U.S. Senators are urging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to accelerate their air bag recall.

U.S. Senators Claim Need for Utmost Urgency

Senators Edward Markey and Richard Blumenthal lead the cry for urgency to recall all vehicles equipped with the defective Takata air bags. They used a report by the Senate Commerce Committee that alleged Takata falsified data to cover up problems and may have been lying to safety regulator for quite some time.

Last Wednesday, a spokeswoman from NHSTA said the regulatory authority was taking every possible step with the utmost urgency. They have initiated powers like their “accelerated remedy authority” for the first time.

According to Reuters, NHSTA was investigating whether the recall had to be expanded to include 90 million air bag inflators containing ammonium nitrate.

NHSTA later cited a consent order issued last year that said all ammonium nitrate based inflators must be recalled by 2019. They also mentioned that replacement inflators might not be safe for long-term use and those may also have to be replaced.

When exposed to moisture the ammonium nitrate based inflators can rupture and send shrapnel into passengers.

Takata air bags have been linked to 10 deaths and more than 100 injuries. The causes of ruptures are due to a combination of the use of ammonium nitrate, exposure to humidity, and design and manufacturing issues.

Takata’s Response to the Recall Order

Takata has said that it has dramatically increased its production of replacement parts and is committed to answering any safety issues in direct cooperation with the NHSTA.

Former managers of Takata, when interviewed by Reuters, cited “chronic” quality failures at North American plants. These statements are validated in dozens of company statements and emails going back to 2011. The numerous problems make it hard to see which exact parts or what cause is making the inflators defective. 


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