US House Committee Reviewing Takata Airbag Recall

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

With around 7.8 million vehicles from various automakers under recall thanks to defects in airbags supplied by Takata, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee is reviewing the proceedings.

The Detroit News reports the committee requested a briefing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “on the status of the Takata recalls and the agency’s investigation,” and plans to meet with automakers “to discuss supplier issues,” as well.

The recall, originally affecting 4.7 million units from six automakers, expanded Tuesday to cover 7.8 million units from 10 manufacturers. Further, the NHTSA included General Motors vehicles made in 2002 and 2003 that weren’t supposed to be on the list — they didn’t have Takata airbags — and the website meant to help consumers determine if their vehicles are affected is having issues, though the agency believes high traffic isn’t the problem.

The recall affects a handful of areas with high humidity, where the defective airbags could explode in a manner conducive to producing metal shrapnel, lacerating and/or killing all inside the cabin of the vehicle. Consumers are urged to bring in their vehicles for repair, and if parts aren’t available, will be asked to keep passengers from sitting up front until the deactivated airbag is replaced.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Burgersandbeer Burgersandbeer on Oct 23, 2014

    Also an '03 3-series. Received the initial notice a couple of weeks ago but not the follow up. I'm in CA though, with a notable lack of humidity. Interestingly, the NHTSA shows a recall date of July 15, 2014 for this. Hopefully this is a mistake on the NHTSA website, otherwise it took long enough to get the word out.

  • Celebrity208 Celebrity208 on Oct 23, 2014

    In all honesty I ask: At what age is it no longer the manufacturer's responsibility? I mean it seems as if the NHTSA is of the opinion that if a company's product still exists then that company is subject to a NHTSA mandated recall. 10yr old airbags, 8-12yr old ignition switches, 11yr old Jeeps. Is Ford subject to a Model T recall because of stress cracking of suspension parts? WTF over? Are we going to end up with MORE expiration dates and MORE warning labels on all kinds of parts on vehicles stating that this part must be inspected/replaced on X interval not because of engineering reasons (fluids, brake pads, etc) but because of fears of recalls? MB, through 2002, stated that all their airbags had a 15yr lifespan. Now if the manufacturers want to issue a recall, then litigate with the supplier for losses, to maintain their reputation then that's their perogative. Additionally, I believe the media is completely in the right to distribute the info about the affected parts/cars. If the NHTSA wants to set up a (sometimes non-working) web site to help consumers identify whether their car is affected that's cool too but... at what point is it just too damn old to issue a government forced recall?

    • See 10 previous
    • VoGo VoGo on Oct 24, 2014

      @burgersandbeer There are a lot of dillholes who post to TTAC. But then, I read a post like this, learn something new, and am reminded of the breadth and depth of B&B knowledge. Thanks!

  • S2k Chris S2k Chris on Oct 23, 2014

    If you wanted to coerce a confession out of me, or torture me in some way, the easiest thing to do would be to play a loop of audio or video of a Congressional inquiry into some sort of alleged wrongdoing by the business world, especially in the financial or automotive industries. A bunch of gasbag mongoloid douchebag retards grandstanding and badgering industry experts and executives for hours on end just makes my skin crawl. It's like watching live-action YouTube comments. If we could harness the stupidity present in Congressional "inquirers" to create an energy source, we could sent all of Antarctica to the moon or something. Words cannot express how much contempt I have for watching Congressperson Jack MeHoff, who was a turd farmer and ran a failed convenince store until he got elected to the 47th distict of East Bumfckville, badger some CEO with a 30 minute monologue ending in false outrage.

    • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Oct 23, 2014

      I could not possibly agree with you more on this. Congressional inquiries are just such an unbelievable waste of oxygen. Surely they have better things to do?

  • CarPerson CarPerson on Oct 23, 2014

    100% of air bags may turn out to be defective. The problem is the propellent is hydroscopic--it absorbs water. When it does, the burn rate is greatly accelerated, thus dramatically increasing the power. The cartridge is designed to manage a normal burn. Unfortunately, the engineers failed to design it to fail gracefully (safely) in the event of an explosive burn due to hermetic seal failure--regardless of the origin--of the chamber. Put in the world's best seal. Heck, put in three of them if you want and have 100% quality control too. Please, just don't forget to design the cartridge to discharge explosive pressure without exploding and spraying shrapnel in the occupant's face during a normal accident inflation. Everything in the press so far talks about the seal. I have seen nothing about re-designing the cartridge to handle an explosive ignition of the propellent caused by moisture intrusion. If this is the case, the new air bags still have a safety defect. Those will also need to be replaced.

    • Petezeiss Petezeiss on Oct 24, 2014

      The very first article I read on this a couple weeks ago blamed the cartridge wall weakness. I mean, that's what becomes the shrapnel. But since I'm getting all ebola over this: We have '09 and '11 CR-Vs. So far they're not on any list I've seen, anyone know differently?