The Takata Airbag Recall Notice
This story begins when Takata announced massive recalls on their Japanese made airbags, the maker Takata have made huge ripples in automotive headlines once this was announced. This scandal broke out in 2014. The problem has covered an initial 5.5 million vehicles in the US produced by 19 automakers with model years 2002 to 2015. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called the recall “the largest and most complex safety recall in US history.” The recalls were made amid reports that Takata airbags have exploded following deployment, causing numerous injuries and deaths.
Brief Background Of Takata and the Recall
The Takata airbags recall stems from problems involving the airbag inflator, which consists of a metal cartridge housing propellants. This has effectively reversed the intended life-saving effects of the Takata airbag recall. Faulty inflators have prompted violent explosions involving metal shards during crashes. According to the NHTSA; the problem with the inflators comes from the absence of a chemical drying agent in airbags that have ammonium nitrate-based propellants. Factors that cause airbags to inflate outside of accidents. Cases such as age, moisture, and high temperatures can also endanger drivers and passengers of automobiles with faulty airbags, given the defective inflators. By far, 11 deaths have been attributed to the faulty airbags, alongside numerous injuries.
The Aftermath of the Takata airbag recall
Although Takata has fully cooperated with the airbags recalls, the number of affected vehicles enlarged in the years following its initial announcement. The recalls now expect to cover an estimated 42 million vehicles in the US, covering up to 70 million airbags. Given that, it pays that you know the latest developments surrounding the Takata airbags recalls. The recall remains an ongoing problem among variously affected automakers given the significant scale of Takata’s operations in the automotive industry. By far, here are the most significant developments on the recall since the start of 2017.
Takata Airbag Recall Timeline of 2017 Updates
The Takata Airbag Recall started on January 12, 2017:
Various automakers have expanded their recall figures. The following are the updated figures per automaker:
- Ford (Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury): 816,000 (654,695 sold in the US)
- Toyota (Toyota and Lexus): 543,000
Additionally, a report from The Wall Street Journal emerged that Takata will be asked to pay $1 billion in penalties. Citing sources knowledgeable of the issue, the penalties include $850 million for payment to affected automakers as restitution. In addition, $25 million will be paid for a criminal penalty.
February 28, 2017:
Takata finally gave a guilty plea over deceiving automakers regarding the safety of their airbags, in turn agreeing to pay $1 billion in penalties. That has served as a development indicating that the Takata airbags recall case continues to move forward. Nonetheless, the vastness of the Vehicle Recall List and the complexities they involve makes it far from over.
Separate from Takata’s guilty plea is another lawsuit involving five automakers who are documented to have agreed to install Takata airbags despite knowing of their faulty condition. BMW, Ford, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota have filed the lawsuit. Said accusation denoted that lower costs have motivated the five automakers to continue using airbags from the Japanese manufacturer. Whereas BMW, Ford, Nissan, and Toyota have yet to provide their comments on the matter. Honda vehemently rejected the merits of the said case, saying that they willfully coordinated with the recalls upon learning of the faulty airbags.
June 26, 2017:
Takata filed for bankruptcy, prompting the company to push through with plans to find a buyer for its $1.6 billion-worth of main assets, excluding its airbag operations. The Japanese manufacturer has vowed to continue with the recalls until completion.
What's next for Takata?
Despite the bankruptcy filing, Takata assured all customers affected by the recall that they will still receive replacements for their defective airbags. Although 16 million out of the 26 million airbags have already been replaced, the fact that several of them have to be replaced means that Takata will continue to struggle.
Apart from the guilty plea and the bankruptcy filing. Takata continues to face a sleuth of complaints from the Takata Airbag Recall Notice for faulty airbags. Mainly in the form of lawsuits and various demands for compensation. Said demands can definitely aggravate the Japanese manufacturer’s already-precarious situation. Some of the affected automakers started to take more proactive measures to accelerate the recalls and help alleviate associated inconveniences.
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