Takata, the Japanese manufacturer already going down in history for one of the biggest product recalls in the United States, has set the bar even higher by recalling 3.3 million more airbag inflators. The company expanded the recall to include frontal airbags in certain car models with a production year of 2009, 2010 and 2013. The car manufacturers that are involved in the recall include Honda, Toyota, Audi and more. The automakers are still compiling a list of affected vehicles that they will then file with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The reason behind Takata's problems have to do with a chemical they use that causes the airbags to inflate. The chemical ammonium nitrate creates a small explosion that in turn causes the airbags to activate quickly when there is a wreck. The problem is that the chemical Takata uses rapidly deteriorates in high levels of humidity and heat. When this happens, the chemical causes a metal canister to explode into the car, resulting in injuries to the driver and passengers. So far, 20 people worldwide have died due to this defect while another 180 people have suffered injuries.
Currently, NHTSA is overseeing the recalls and plans to phase them in over the next three years. Right now, areas that have higher humidity or temperatures, like Phoenix, have priority. Unfortunately, automakers have been slow to carry out the previous round of recalls. As of Sept. 15, 2017, 43.1 million inflators have been recalled since 2001. Of those, the automakers have only made the necessary repairs to approximately 43 percent of the faulty inflators. NHTSA is staying involved in the process to make sure the automakers get to the repairs in a timely manner.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a defective product, such as the Takata airbags, then you might be able to file a claim. You should not have to pay for expensive medical procedures for injuries that resulted from a manufacturer's negligence.