Timothy Moore
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Takata Airbag Recall Nearly Doubles to 34 Million

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takata airbag recall

Takata’s airbag inflators have been in question since 2000, but this large recall is happening only now

Forget the GM recall debacle of 2014; the Takata airbag recall is the big story that has drivers everywhere pissed off, and rightly so. The issue dates back a whole 15 years, and only now is it starting to be addressed. Takata, an airbag supplier, made the announcement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today that its ongoing recall is nearly doubling as it expands to almost 34 million vehicles in the United States.

Reportedly, the inflators in the airbags made by Takata have the potential to explode—and violently—when they deploy, which is very counterproductive to the safety that airbags are meant to provide. Back in 2000, several customers filed complaints with NHTSA regarding the airbags, but it took eight years before an automaker, Honda, made a significant recall of just 4,000 vehicles. When a teenage driver was killed by fragments caused by an airbag explosion just six months later, Honda upped the ante to 510,000 vehicles.

But it’s not just Honda vehicles that are affected. Several large automakers rely on Takata airbags. So naturally, they all must have issued large recalls back in 2009, right? Wrong. In fact, safety regulators opened an investigation in 2009 but closed it after just six months with many questions left unanswered by Takata.

The explosions, of course, did not stop, and after many more issues, the feds began to investigate again in June of 2014, finally prompting a number of recalls near the end of the year that have been steadily growing throughout 2015. Honda, Nissan, and Toyota recalled more than 11.5 million cars just last week, but today’s announcement brings the overall total to nearly a whopping 34 million that perhaps no one saw coming. A recall of this size is expected to be incredibly costly across the entire industry.

Let’s hope Takata and the feds get it right this time, for safety’s sake.

  • Timothy MooreManaging Editor

    Timothy Moore hails from Dayton, Ohio, and tries to bring that Midwestern flavor to his writing. (But as it turns out, no one really likes the Midwestern flavor.) He has been covering the auto industry for years, with several national auto shows under his belt, but he’s been writing about lots of other things (like dragons and Mickey Mouse and cows drowning in milk) since he was just a tot. Outside of the land of cars, Timothy enjoys watching The Office and consuming excessive amounts of peanut butter and beer, and is on the board of an up-and-coming Dayton theatre company called The Playground. And when he’s not on stage (or three jars into a peanut butter binge), Timothy spends time with his mischievous dog, Greyson. See more articles by Timothy.

  • Baron

    Reminds me of Jack’s job from Fight Club; assessing the cost of paying the victim’s families off versus the cost to recall. Grusome stuff.