By on June 1, 2016

Takata Driver Airbag

Defective airbags linked to at least 10 U.S. deaths are still rolling off dealer lots, despite a massive safety recall.

Four automakers admit to selling new vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags, but it’s all legal as long as those cars are fixed within two years. The companies were revealed in a report tabled today by U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Democrats.

Airbags in certain vehicles being sold by Toyota, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Mitsubishi and Volkswagen don’t contain a chemical drying agent — a key ingredient that stops the ammonium nitrate inflators from becoming unstable.

Prolonged exposure to heat and humidity causes the propellant to burn faster, creating an explosion instead of a controlled expansion of gas.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation launched a multi-phase recall of 35 to 40 million Takata airbags. A total of 28.8 million units were recalled between the discovery of the fault last year and the Justice Department’s announcement.

It’s no fun knowing you’re sitting in front of an airbag that can spray metal shrapnel into your face, but that risk only develops over time. Because of this, the oldest affected vehicles are first in line to be fixed in this recall.

News of the airbag sales comes on the same day Ford expanded its vehicle recall to 1.9 million vehicles. Last week, Honda, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Ferrari, and Mitsubishi announced the recall of over 12 million vehicles.

Japan’s transport ministry also got in on the action, recalling a further seven million vehicles.

[Sources: Associated Press, Reuters]

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17 Comments on “Automakers Are Still Selling Vehicles With Potentially Deadly Airbags...”


  • avatar

    I don’t know about the other two manufacturers but VAG’s pink Beetle tampon machine will sell anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      You leave some divisive, crass comments considering your righteous persona you like to promote.

      Still waiting on your value added content.

      • 0 avatar

        tresmonos:

        You were born without a humor gene weren’t ya? It’s comedy. Get a life.

        As for “value added content,” should I use you as an example? Like that May 11th Dana article on TTAC where you replied to Superdessucke and said “You’re a f*cking idiot and clearly don’t understand economics?”

        Don’t pick on me dude. Your checkered past will come back to haunt you.

  • avatar

    *BOOSH*

  • avatar
    LIKE TTAC.COM ON FACEBOOK

    There is a great market opportunity for another company to manufacture and sell high quality airbags. The trick is to get the service centers to pay for them, and for them to get reimbursed by Takata or whoever is ultimately responsible.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    The nice old half Czech half German woman that lives next door to me just had her Corolla’s airbag replaced by the local Toyota dealership thanks to Takata.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Still waiting on my Legacy’s airbag and melty dashboard to be replaced. I was told June last month. I called the day I got the letter in January.

    My coworker’s been in a rental Ram because of his Ridgeline for going on 2 months now.

    I’m still waiting to hear that the OEMs were made aware of the issue years ago and helped cover it up because they knew what would happen to their sales (during the biggest sales boom in a generation) if they made it public.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Considering the danger, it seems ‘no bag” is better than a defective bag. So why aren’t people having the defective ones removed until safe ones are available? Just make believe it’s 1966 again, but with lap and shoulder belts, and drive more carefully.

    • 0 avatar
      360joules

      Manufacturers need to move their metal with some sort of airbags to meet legal requirements but should be putting a lot of cash on the hood to buy a rolling claymore mine.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      So, you’ll give up having a horn and risk shoving your face into a metal-laced cavity in the center of your steering wheel in a crash?

      Just because it doesn’t have the drying agent does not mean it will explode. It means it COULD, but it isn’t guaranteed that it will. The risk is less than the risk of having no airbag at all in a crash.

  • avatar
    axon890

    It’s fine and dandy that the cars keep getting recalled, but is anything being done to fix the cars? I’ve been looking at last gen mustangs and 3 serieses and I’ve had to walk from half a dozen that were priced very well. The recall hadn’t been done and there are no parts to do the recall, or at least that’s what the dealerships and sellers have been telling me.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      how can you fix cars without parts? typically, service (repair) parts are a very small portion of your production. Takata is facing the prospect of having to replace every single inflator they’ve made over the past 15 years. they simply don’t have the capacity to keep supplying parts to assembly plants AND crank out replacement parts for recalled cars. And you can’t just go to Autoliv or TRW and say “hey, can you start making replacement inflators for these Takata ones?” They have to design, tool up, and validate replacements which takes months. And you can’t rush that, because if they miss something then you’re looking at yet *another* recall down the road.

      Takata is seriously screwing everyone on this. And with this and their arrogance about their failing seat belt latches, I think Takata should be happy to just go down the drain.

  • avatar
    bludragon

    “It’s no fun knowing you’re sitting in front of an airbag that can spray metal shrapnel into your face, but that risk only develops over time. Because of this, the oldest affected vehicles are first in line to be fixed in this recall.”

    So basically, these airbags that are being sold work fine today. It’s only after a few years that they turn deadly. Therefore, not really an issue as long as they get fixed before the time is up…

    Of course, I would not want to buy one and am glad to see Mazda is not on the list (having just purchased a mazda3).

    I have a solution for all the old cars with deadly airbags though. These should all be turned into LeMons racers. Or just race cars. Because you don’t need airbags in a race car ;-)

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Right, because everyone can afford to drive a new car. I’m so glad that there aren’t people such as myself who drive older cars by choice or not.

      Removing large amounts of otherwise viable used cars would make driving a true luxury some of us could not afford. The prices on unaffected used cars would skyrocket as demand would swell enormously, just like after C4C.

      I’m not trying to be rude, and I do realize you (probably) weren’t serious, but people are out there who don’t think of how such actions have trickle-down effects.

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