84 Million Airbags Could Be Added To Recall If Takata Can’t Prove Inflators Are Safe

Image courtesy of I Am Rob

More than 28 million Takata airbags have already been recalled after they were found to deploy with such force that pieces of shrapnel shoot at drivers and passengers. Regulators now say that figure could increase by 84 million airbags if the Japanese auto parts maker can’t prove other inflators are safe. 

The potential expansion would bring the total number of safety devices recalled to 114 million, officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this week, the Associated Press reports.

Airbags not included in the recall, but that could be eventually, include 43.4 million passenger side inflators, 26.9 million side air bag inflators, and 14.5 million driver side inflators.

Regulators say they aren’t sure just how many vehicles would be included in the expanded recall, as some cars are equipped with more than one Takata airbag inflator.

The recalled inflators, which have been linked to 11 deaths worldwide and 10 in the U.S., contain the volatile chemical explosive ammonium nitrateone of three root causes for the violent ruptures.

Takata has agreed not to sign any more contracts to sell ammonium nitrate inflators and phase it out of manufacturing by the end of 2018.

Exposure to moisture and inflator construction issues also contribute to the violent rupture.

The company contends that many of its newer inflators include a drying agent that can prevent the rupture issue.

However, NHTSA has given Takata until the end of 2018 to prove that inflators without a drying agent called a desiccant in them are safe.

Additionally, the company has until the end of 2019 to prove that inflators with the dessicant are safe.

If the safety can’t be proven, Takata must issue a blanket recall.

Last month, people close to Takata said that if a blanket recall were initiated the entire issue could cover more than 287 million inflators worldwide and cost the parts maker $24 billion.

Air bag danger: US counts 85M unrecalled Takata inflators [Associated Press]

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