NHTSA Considering Options To Speed Up Takata Airbag Replacement, Seeks Updated Recall Details

Now that automakers have identified all 33.8 million vehicles equipped with potential shrapnel-shooting Takata airbags, federal regulators are looking for ways to speed up the repair process.

Regulators with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say they are currently deciding whether or not to issue an “accelerated remedy directive” to the Japanese parts maker and the 11 automakers affected by the massive airbag recall, the Detroit News reports.

The directive would work to ensure the airbags are fixed as quickly as possible.

Similarly, NTHSA is considering ordering automakers to allow repair shops to complete recall repairs for the defective airbags. Currently, repairs stemming from recalls are only done at authorized manufacturer dealers.

Both possibilities were discussed by NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on Tuesday morning, where he reported that the agency had sent special orders to automakers and Takata seeking updates on their progress in fixing affected vehicles.

The special order seeks a record of all Takata airbags that use ammonium nitrate. The request also asks for updates on how many air bags are defective, how long it will take to produce enough replacement parts and how many replacement air bags already installed will need to be replaced again, the Detroit News reports.

Takata announced earlier this month that about 400,000 airbags that had previously been replaced would need a second replacement.

Additionally, the parts maker must provide information on how it plans to ship new inflators to automakers for repair. Takata has until July 10 to provide NHTSA with the requested information.

In addition to seeking new information from Takata, NHTSA asked for updates from each of the 11 automakers affected by the airbag recall. The manufacturers were asked to provide information on the number of vehicles covered by the Takata recalls and how they will trace replacement parts.

NHTSA requested that the companies begin gathering information for the coordinated remedy process.

Rosekind says he expects to begin meeting with the companies on July 1 to discuss strategies and hold a public hearing in September to reveal a plan to oversee the recalls.

NHTSA wants details from Takata, automakers on recall [The Detroit News]

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