Regulators Could Call On Other Parts Makers To Increase Production Of Replacement Takata Airbag Inflators

Just days after federal regulators announced they would hold a public meeting to once again address the slow replacement of defective, shrapnel-shooting, Takata-produced airbags linked to eight deaths and hundreds of injuries, officials with the agency outlined what steps it could take to finally coordinate the messy recall.

Reuters reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration  will likely use the Oct. 22meeting to call on other auto parts manufacturers to aid in expediting the replacement parts needed to repair the millions of recalled vehicles.

NHTSA chief Mark Rosekind said on Thursday that the agency will unveil the plan to compel top manufacturers to supply automakers with new safety devices in order to ensure consumers are driving safe vehicles.

The meeting will serve as a forum to “basically tell everybody how this is going to move forward,” Rosekind said.

The agency is currently in the process of figuring out a way in which other airbag inflator manufacturers can increase production of replacement parts, Rosekind said, adding that NHTSA has conducted a series of meetings with the 10 automakers involved in the recall, Takata and other manufacturers.

“We need to make sure the priorities are clear, make sure the supplies are going to be available, make sure the quality assurance is taken care of. The remedy has to work,” Rosekind said.

The first details of the plan come three months after the Japanese parts maker caved to regulator pressure and recalled more than 30 million cars, while NHTSA, just last week, revised the number to about 19.2 million vehicles.

That revision was based the most recent and accurate information provided by the 11 affected automakers, regulators said at the time.

To date, NHTSA, Takata and other manufacturers have yet to determine why the airbag inflators have a tendency to explode with enough force to send pieces of shrapnel shooting at passengers and drivers. Because of this, it’s unclear whether or not vehicles already repaired are actually safe.

In fact, company also plans to re-recall about 400,000 vehicles that have already been repaired.

Takata announced it would change its use of the often volatile chemical ammonium nitrate in its safety devices and replace its batwing driver inflators.

U.S. regulator says Takata recall plan could include other suppliers [Reuters]