GM Will Not Disable Defective Takata AirbagsOctober 31, 2014
A General Motors spokesman announced that the company would not disable the defective Takata airbags found in thousands of its vehicles. GM spokesman Alan Adler told Detroit media outlets that the company has the parts available to repair the defective Takata airbag systems of 17,000 vehicles in high-risk areas. The recent recall of thousands of vehicles due to the dangerous airbag system is the latest in a series of GM recalls, the most costly of which has been attributed to a deadly flaw in the ignition system in millions more vehicles.
Humidity A Factor In Defective Takata Airbag Injuries
Recent reports have tied the injuries sustained from the defective Takata airbag to conditions of high humidity. A driver in Orlando, Florida, was killed when the defective Takata airbag system in her car propelled metal shards into her throat and chest when her airbag deployed. Investigators found the link between high humidity and the airbag deployment system by examining the system’s propellant, which uses ammonium nitrate as an ingredient. Ammonium nitrate is highly sensitive to atmospheric moisture; the chemical was cited as a factor in an explosion at Takata factory in Mexico in 2006.
Feds Examine Defective Takata Airbag System
The recent press about the defective Takata airbag system has earned the Japanese automaker added scrutiny from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman told reporters that he expects company executives to testify under oath and produce documents related to the defective Takata airbag design. If the manufacturer does not deliver the documents related to the defective Takata airbag by December 1, the company will be fined up to $7,000 per day.
Millions Affected By Recall of Defective Takata Airbags
The recall related to the defective Takata airbag assembly encompasses nearly eight million vehicles, including more than five million from Honda, the auto parts manufacturer’s biggest customer. An undetermined number of GM vehicles were affected by the recall. The list includes Pontiac Vibes made from 2003 to 2005 and the 2005 Saab 9-2X. GM issued recalls on 69,000 vehicles in June, with 17,000 Vibes on the urgent repair list due to the defective Takata airbag recall. The manufacturer has promised to provide loaner vehicles to affected owners if they do not have the necessary parts on hand.
Defective Takata Airbag Recall Impacts Major Carmakers
Besides GM and Honda, several other major auto manufacturers also issued recall notices for the defective Takata airbag assembly. The recall could affect more than 1.5 million other vehicles from Japanese automakers, including Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Subaru. The defective Takata airbag system may also force American automakers Ford and Chrysler to recall a combined 428,000 vehicles. German automaker BMW may have to recall more than 627,000 of their popular 3 Series cars made from 2000 to 2006.
Source: Detroit News
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