Takata Faces Forced Recall After Defying NHTSA Order

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Hours after Takata informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it would not comply with the order to conduct a nationwide airbag recall in the United States, the agency took the supplier to task during Wednesday’s congressional hearing over the matter.

Bloomberg reports deputy administrator David Friedman cited data showing humidity is playing less of a factor in the catastrophic failures than previously proclaimed by Takata, adding that the agency would hire an independent expert within the week to conduct more tests.

Takata claimed in its letter to the NHTSA that a nationwide recall was not necessary, as there wasn’t enough reliable evidence to mandate such an action that would take away from fixing the problem in high-humidity zones, creating needless delays in conducting repairs. The supplier also took the agency to task for not providing enough notice, and that it was already on its way to improving the safety of its products.

Sens. Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut encouraged the NHTSA to force Takata into compliance, and to expand the nationwide recall to cover passenger-side airbags as well. Friedman said the agency’s next move would be to force said recall, which could take several weeks or months. He added that he didn’t have a set timetable to bring about the action.

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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  • Tubacity Tubacity on Dec 04, 2014

    It's the Bomb. Ammonium nitrate is used by Takata but not other makers. It's cheaper. It makes a better bomb. If it's good enough for Timothy McVeigh who bombed the Murrah Bldg in Oklahoma City, it's good enough for me. "McVeigh planned to construct a bomb containing more than 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, mixed with about 1,200 pounds (540 kg) of liquid nitromethane and 350 pounds (160 kg) of Tovex...Of the 13 filled barrels, nine contained ammonium nitrate and nitromethane, and four contained a mixture of the fertilizer and about 4 U.S. gallons (3.3 imp gal; 15 L) of diesel fuel" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oklahoma_City_bombing "by 2001 Takata had switched to an alternative formula, ammonium nitrate, and started sending the airbags to automakers, including Honda." http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/20/business/takatas-switch-to-cheaper-airbag-propellant-is-at-center-of-crisis.html?_r=0

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Dec 04, 2014

    It is a revenge for A-bombs dropped by US military. Imagine if all Takata airbags explode at once.

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Dec 04, 2014

    On the other hand 10 times more people died from GM ignition switches than from Takata airbags.

  • Beachbunny Beachbunny on Dec 05, 2014

    I've often wondered why airbags were so highly touted. They're promoted as soft, pillow-like devices, when the reality is that they are indeed bombs with very thick/unforgiving fabric.

    • Bk_moto Bk_moto on Dec 05, 2014

      I don't know that anyone ever promoted them as such but yes they do deploy violently which is necessary for them to inflate in time to prevent you from slamming into the steering wheel and dashboard. Perhaps the typically seen time-lapse videos of airbags deploying are a bit misleading if you're not aware that they're time-lapse. Search out a real-time video for comparison. The theory is that it's better to have some abrasions and possibly 1st-degree burns from the airbag as opposed to being slammed into all the hard parts in a severe collision. The kind of collision where you're gonna be injured or dead no matter what and where the use of such a device may mitigate your injuries or keep you from being killed.