By on May 19, 2015

Takata TTAC Style

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Tuesday Takata would expand its airbag recall to cover 33.8 million units in the United States.

The expanded recall is now one of the largest recalls in U.S. history, USA Today reports. Additionally, the supplier is under a consent order by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to cooperate with the agency in its investigation into the recall. The NHTSA also declared it would begin the process to sort and organize the replacement schedule of the defective airbags.

The expansion comes after Takata issued a regional recall last summer affecting units in vehicles located in humid locales in the U.S. The units were prone to catastrophic failure upon detonation, scattering shrapnel into the cabin and injuring or killing the occupants inside. Six fatalities have been linked thus far, with five occurring in the U.S.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx praised the agreement made between the supplier and his department, declaring it “a major step forward for public safety.” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind agreed with the assessment, adding all parties involved had more work ahead of them to remedy the issue as quickly as possible.

[Photo credit: Takata]

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36 Comments on “Takata Expands US Airbag Recall Nationwide, Covering 34M Units...”


  • avatar
    alluster

    Who has to pay for the recalls? I am guessing Takata pays for the replacement airbags. Would the automakers have to pay for contacting customers, loaners and labor involved in replacing the airbag?

    NHTSA, it appears is strong arming Takata because it is a Japanese company. GM received kid gloves treatment for what was a more serious issue.

    • 0 avatar
      ExPatBrit

      GM never received kid-glove treatment.

      These bags could explode at any time, unlike the GM switch issue which once you are aware of you can work around.

      This is much more serious issue, this problem started showing up about 6 years ago.

      A lot more vehicles are affected, it’s now worldwide, not just warm/ humid locations and both passenger and driver airbags and it’s going to be a longer wait plus much harder and more expensive to fix than a $5 ignition switch and or key fob replacement.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        GM’s ignition switch also required a bit of stupidity from the owner in the form of very heavy key rings causing to much pressure on a overly cheap switch. It’s more similar to the Toyota witch hunt then to these airbags exploding with shrapnel. The airbags are finally a recall that for the first time in a long time actually deserves some press.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Sometimes key rings are heavy from many keys. Yes shocking, people tend to keep most of their keys on a single key ring. If GM can’t manage to think past the design lab, what the fukk are they building cars for???

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Unintended acceleration is essentially a myth — cars don’t just accelerate on their own — which makes the Toyota case unique. The best comparison is the Audi 5000 case.

          The GM ignitions were defective. The issue was clouded by the fact that the crashes were caused by the drivers (many of whom crashed recklessly) and it was not obvious that GM contributed to those crashes. Combine the drivers’ liability with GM bureaucracy, and you end up with a delayed resolution process.

          This airbag issue is unambiguous — the fault clearly lies with Takata. It took time to figure it out, but it is now clear what has happened and there is no way to blame the drivers for the shrapnel (even if they cmay sometimes be at fault for the crashes themselves.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            “The issue was clouded by the fact that the crashes were caused by the drivers (many of whom crashed recklessly) and it was not obvious that GM contributed to those crashes.”

            Did you do a lot of recreational drugs in your early years? That’s some of the dumbest shit Ive heard in a long time.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Much better than diesel fumes, obviously.

            If you were paying attention to this story, then you’d know that this is simply a factual statement. Many of these crashes involved speeding and/or DUI, and the drivers were presumed to be at fault. GM believed that the drivers were the sole cause, not the cars.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            Using that same logic, if a person was killed by a faulty airbag as a result of drunk or reckless driving, they were at fault and Takata should be off the hook as well, because they were obviously doing something wrong.
            What an excellent loophole GM has found.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I’m sorry that you aren’t good at understanding this stuff.

            Here’s a news account of one of the GM ignition cases not long after the crash:
            _____

            On Friday, Amber Marie Rose, 16, crashed into a tree about 3:40 a.m. in the 8800 block of Derby Court in Dentsville, said Kristen Adkins, public information officer for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.

            “There is evidence that alcohol was involved,” Adkins said. A news release from the sheriff’s office also cited speed as a factor in the crash.

            Rose, who was on her way home to Marbury, was driving her 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt when she lost control, the sheriff’s office said. She was taken to Civista Medical Center for treatment and was pronounced dead soon after. Rose was not wearing a seat belt, authorities said.

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/30/AR2005073000044.html
            _____

            Assuming that you bothered to read that, would you presume from that account that the vehicle manufacturer shared responsibility for the death of a drunk, speeding driver who wasn’t wearing a seat belt? The cops surely didn’t think so.

            As it turns out, a lot of the ignition crashes were like that. It wasn’t necessarily obvious at the time that the car was a contributing factor.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            That’s a poor attempt at defending Government Motors. You left out a few critical facts. Let’s look at the rest of the story.

            “Amber’s accident was attributed to a faulty ignition switch in her Chevrolet Cobalt, which apparently shut off the engine while the car was in motion – cutting power to the air bags, which didn’t inflate when the car hit a tree in Dentsville, Md.

            But alcohol and excessive speed were also cited as factors in the crash, although Christian insists she’s “very confident” that her daughter would have survived if airbags had deployed as designed.

            “I spoke to the EMTs shortly after [the accident] and they told me that had the airbags deployed that she would have been injured, but she would have been alive today,” she tells ATC host Robert Siegel.”

            http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2014/04/01/297910918/mother-of-victim-more-killed-by-gm-ignition-switch-defect

            So let me get this straight. You actually believe GM hired all these high profile attorneys to simply roll over and let random traffic and DUI offenders jump on board this lawsuit, even when there was no faulty equipment involved?

            Your gonna have to do better than that.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I guess that you aren’t familiar with the concept of contributory negligence.

            When a driver is drunk or high, speeding and not wearing a belt, the cops aren’t likely to start blaming the company that built the car for behaviors that point loudly to the driver being at fault.

            The company figures that it doesn’t have much of a problem in those circumstances. And in spite of what the families may say, those airbags may not have saved them, either, given the nature of the crashes, which makes the company even less liable than it may have otherwise been.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            Again, using your logic Takata should be off the hook for any incidents that were driver inflicted.

            Dont like a face full of metal shrapnel? Too bad, you shouldn’t have been drinking and driving. You should have negotiated that corner at the posted speed limit instead of 15mph over it. You shouldn’t have ran that red light. Now go sit in the corner and deal with a disfigured face (or worse).

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Your reading skills suck. You’re too busy foaming at the mouth to read what has been said.

            I didn’t claim that GM wasn’t responsible. I am pointing out that it isn’t often immediately apparent that the OEM played a role in a crash.

            That’s especially true when there are glaring acts of negligence on the part of the driver. It’s not as if there is a big neon sign that lights up at the crash site that says, “GM KILLED MY BABY!!!” The cops investigating it don’t see it and the media doesn’t see it at the time.

            The automaker looks at it from a contributory negligence perspective and believes that it is in the clear. The company knows that it didn’t pour booze and drugs down the throats of those who decided to speed and avoid using seat belts, so the OEM sees no reason to assume liability for a crash that would have probably killed the occupants even if the airbags had gone off.

            It’s more complicated than you would like to think. It all seems simple in the comments section of a website years after the fact, but it isn’t so clear in real time.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            My reading skills are fine. Your examples have backfired, that’s not my problem.

            Your first post said “GM believed that the drivers were the sole cause, not the cars.”

            Then you continue to post a link about a girl driving home drunk that lost all power to her vehicle and subsequently went off the road and died. Could a sober person have reacted quickly enough and had the strength to break the lock on the ignition column to be able to keep the car on the dark road with no headlights until it rolled to a stop? Remember, she likely didn’t have brakes either.

            If you could have provided some instances where the person genuinely was at fault I would have went away quietly. Don’t be mad at me that you couldn’t do that.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “My reading skills are fine.”

            Apparently not.

            Amber Rose was drunk, speeding and not wearing a belt. The cops figured that out, and blamed her because it was pretty obvious that she played a key role in getting herself killed.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            GM and Ken Feinberg apparently disagree with you, that or they simply enjoy paying out large sums of cash for no good reason.

            Miss Roses incident was the first known failure that lead to an accident. The cops may not have picked up that there was something else at play, but the paramedics had a good idea right away at the crash scene when they noticed the air bags were not deployed.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The wonders of hindsight. I touched on that already.

            Again, your reading skills suck.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            I didn’t expect you to defend your earlier contradictions.

            Your such a tool.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Seriously, work on your reading skills. (Misspelling “you’re” as “your” isn’t doing you any favors here.)

        • 0 avatar
          jrmason

          5 confirmed deaths from faulty Takata air bags over 6 model years

          104 confirmed deaths from faulty GM ignition switches over 14 model years, 12 years of which GM KNEW there was a problem.

          Which deserves more press?

          I know, I know, this is the NEW GM. All is forgiven.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            The Takata issue deserves more press, because it probably has more fatalities involving belted occupants!

          • 0 avatar
            ExPatBrit

            34 million vehicles just in the US, more worldwide.

            Any minor fender bender could possibly kill driver and front seat passenger.

            The number of injuries and deaths is probably unknown, most traffic fatality accidents are not investigated thoroughly enough to see if the the impact or the airbag caused death.

            This is huge. Supposedly was caused by a new propellant , unfortunately it’s hygroscopic and becomes more unstable with time.

            And how will those “ticking time bombs” be disposed of, can’t be just thrown in the recycle bin like a metal switch.

          • 0 avatar
            jrmason

            ANY minor fender bender that results in a fatality is investigated. Airbags don’t cause fatalities under normal circumstances. If a person gets their head taken off or gored with shrapnel in a 15 mph accident, the family wants answers. This is not something that’s just been swept under the rug until recently, unlike the GM ignition scam.

            I’m not downplaying the seriousness of the Takata issue but the head in the sand mentality of the ignition switch scam is mind blowing.

          • 0 avatar
            ExPatBrit

            I do agree that in a minor fender bender it’s probably possible to determine the fatality/ injury is due to a faulty airbag.

            But what about a more serious accident where maybe the victim might normally have survived due to a good airbag.

            Lots of metal and glass flying around. Significant damage and trauma, do you think most local law enforcement will spend enough time gathering forensic evidence to determine that the proximate cause is because the airbag malfunctioned.

        • 0 avatar
          joeaverage

          We own three cars known to have weak ignition switches. On top of that both my wife and I have six or seven keys for work. Consequently both of us have two key rings. One for the car only and the other for everything else.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Fox reported on this and asked people to log on to safecars.gov to get the latest recalled VIN. Only problem is that it can take weeks and months to get all recalled VIN’s sent from the OEM’s to the NHTSA, another brilliant piece of incorrect TV journalism which could end up killing people who falsely assume their vehicles are not involved.

  • avatar
    Silence

    A swift kick in the nuts is what you get when you try to screw with Uncle Sam. Serves them right, too. This whole case is going to become a textbook example of how not to handle a massive screwup.

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    OUCH!!!

  • avatar
    Buford T. Justice

    Why is it so hard to find out which models are affected? I understand it takes time to get all the VIN numbers, buy why not issue a list of the models being added?

  • avatar
    AngeCK

    I was in an accident three weeks ago in a vehicle that was not covered by the original recall. Something cut my daughter’s head in the back seat and nobody could figure out what. I told the paramedics something flew out when the airbag came out and that the airbag deployed but never inflated…I was told that it probably inflated I just didn’t realize it and that they didn’t think anything had come out with the airbag…this article describes exactly what happened to us! Thank God we weren’t injured worse!

    Who can I contact or who do I need to contact?

  • avatar
    lonborghini

    When it comes to enhancing automotive safety, tossing in explosive devices never seemed reasonable to me. Now we’re finding out that explosives don’t necessarily make cars safer… or Independence Day either, for that matter. Explosives can add a bit of zip to a cocktail or a tossed salad though.

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