The national recall on Takata-made airbag inflators has been going on for nearly two years without much progress. See what has been accomplished here.

Takata Airbag Recall Timeline and Progress

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Airbags are designed to inflate in the event of an accident in order to cushion the impact for the driver. Once the bag inflates, it protects the victim’s head from being violently forced into the wheel or dashboard, while also decreasing the distance the head is thrown. However, what if the airbag inflation itself puts you at risk for fatal injuries?

Unfortunately, a nationwide recall on Takata-manufactured airbags brings that concern into reality.

2014-2015 Takata Recall Progress

The Takata auto parts corporation has been under heavy fire as a result of a hazardous airbag inflator that has led to numerous injuries, some of which were fatal. The initial concerns over the defective part became nationally recognized nearly fifteen months ago, as a result of the following actions which were taken to fix the defect:

  • Encouragement of recalls. In November of 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urged a national recall of affected vehicles. In December of that year, Honda and Ford agreed to comply with NHTSA’s assessment and expanded their recall to a national level which included the addition of 5.8 million vehicles.
  • Investigations into severity. In January of 2015, after the fifth death associated with a faulty airbag, investigations into the issue found that defects within the airbag created such a high force that the inflators themselves had the potential to rupture and explode on impact. This potential explosion caused burns, debris impalement, neck and spinal trauma, brain injury, and more for drivers and passengers alike.
  • Establishment of fines. In February of 2015, NHTSA fined Takata $14,000 per day for not cooperating fully with the agency's investigation into the airbag problems. This fine encouraged Takata to acknowledge the issue and expanded the recall to include a staggering 33.8 million additional vehicles.
  • Creation of civil penalties. In November of 2015, NHTSA imposed a record civil penalty of up to $200 million against Takata. $70 million of this penalty was due immediately while the remaining $130 million will be charged if Takata continues to fail to meet its recall commitments.

Once Takata admitted to the defect, the recall process began to take shape and the dangerous inflators began to be replaced. However, over the next year, the initial concerns and plans to fix the problem appear to have been woefully underestimated, resulting in 30 million additional recalls and Congressional appeal to have all Takata-manufactured airbags recalled from the United States. Despite these recalls, many cars remain on the roads with the faulty inflators in them. Delays in repair time, lack of communication, a shortage of parts, and driver apathy account for many of these unrepaired cars.

Category: Car Accidents


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