The Biggest Safety Recall in History is About to Get Way, Way Bigger

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
the biggest safety recall in history is about to get way way bigger

Maybe 2016 isn’t Takata’s year.

The airbag manufacturer at the heart of the largest automotive safety recall in history is poised to double the number of airbag inflators it needs to fix, Reuters reports.

A number of people close to the issue said the beleaguered company will soon announce a massive expansion in the scope of the recall, which has already seen 28.8 million airbag inflators recalled in vehicles from 14 automakers. Another 35 to 40 million units require fixing, the sources say.

The new recall will cover all front airbags that don’t contain a drying agent — an issue linked to past incidents resulting in death.

The recalls began last year after it was revealed that some Takata airbag inflators could explode with too much force, spraying metal shrapnel into a motorist’s face during airbag deployment. At least 10 deaths and 100 injuries in the U.S. are linked to the faulty inflators, with hot, humid climates posing the highest risk of malfunction.

Takata has until 2019 to prove to U.S. regulators that all of its airbag inflators are safe.

The company’s spokesperson, Jared Levy, stated, “Takata is working with regulators and our automaker customers to develop long-term, orderly solutions.”

While 40 million is a big number, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that the final tally could be double that number.

The scandal and its associated costs have crippled Takata’s finances, with its stock taking a beating following the news of a looming recall. Last month, a source at the company said a worst-case scenario (a recall of every airbag) would cost Takata $24 billion — a penalty it can’t afford.

Bloomberg reports that Takata is seeking financial sponsors to boost its capital, and ultimately save the company. Their plan is to reform the business, likely under a new name.

In the wake of the scandal, many of the world’s largest automakers dropped Takata as a supplier.

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  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on May 07, 2016

    This episode highlights the vital importance of suppliers in automobile manufacturing.

  • Webbrowan Webbrowan on Jun 03, 2016

    Product recalls are quite common but when it comes to safety equipment, such an unpleasant situation causes panic amongst consumers and will eventually cause public distrust. However, a recall is still necessary in order to prevent unwanted circumstances to happen to users.

  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Ed That has to be a joke.