Honda Recalls Over 1.1 Million Vehicles Equipped With Faulty Takata Air Bag Inflators

 

Laguna Hills, CA – March 15, 2019 – Honda is recalling specific 2003 Acura 3.2CL, 2013-2016 ILX, 2013-2014 ILX Hybrid, 2003-2006 MDX, 2007-2016 RDX, 2002-2003 3.2TL, 2004-2006, and 2009-2014 TL, 2010-2013 ZDX and 2001-2007 and 2009 Honda Accord, 2001-2005 Civic, 2003-2005 Civic Hybrid, 2001-2005 Civic GX NGV, 2002-2007 and 2010-2011 CR-V, 2003-2011 Element, 2007 Fit, 2002-2004 Odyssey, 2003-2008 Pilot and 2006-2014 Ridgeline vehicles. The affected vehicles had previously received a driver air bag inflator or air bag module replacement as part of a massive recall of defective Takata air bags affecting numbers of different automakers. Because of a manufacturing error, the front driver air bag may explode during a crash. The potential number of vehicles affected is 1,108,939.

The Defect

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report filed March 11, replacement driver air bag inflators or air bag modules had been installed in the affected vehicles as part of a previous Takata inflator recall. Due to a manufacturing error, in the event of a crash in which the air bag is activated, the inflator may explode, resulting in sharp metal fragments striking the driver, front seat passenger or other occupants, potentially resulting in serious injury or death.

Car and Driver said this latest recall came about after a crash involving a 2004 Odyssey, in which the driver’s arm was bruised. This happened after the company learned that the Takata replacement, a driver’s-side inflator that is supposed to resist moisture, had ruptured due to “excessive moisture” present at the Takata factory in Mexico.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Takata air bag recall, which has been going on for over 10 years, involved over 37 million vehicles built by 19 automakers. At least 22 people were killed and hundreds permanently disfigured when the air bags exploded after deployment, spraying them with deadly shrapnel.

Timeline of Events

Honda began using the Takata-made driver-side air bag inflators June 2014 as part of a regional safety improvement campaign. By March 2015, when the scope of the original Takata recall expanded, Honda began obtaining remedy air bag inflators from other manufacturers to supplement its supply of replacement parts.

Honda instructed dealers to stop installing the Takata inflators July 2016, and stopped ordering the replacement parts from Takata.

On March 21, 2018, Honda was informed of the Jan. 19, 2018 crash in which the driver air bag inflator had allegedly ruptured during air bag deployment; an initial incident report was then submitted to NHTSA March 23. A joint field inspection April 10 confirmed the driver air bag inflator had ruptured, and a final rupture incident report was sent to NHTSA.

From mid-April to early-February 2019, Honda continued its investigation in conjunction with the air bag inflator supplier and NHTSA. Ultimately, examination of the replacement parts did not turn up any conclusive explanation of the factors that led to the over-pressurization found in these inflators, with Honda concluding that all available evidence suggested a manufacturing anomaly.

Honda met with NHTSA Feb. 15 to share the results of the investigation. The automaker then decided on March 6 that a defect existed, launching the recall process as a result. As of March 16, Honda had received only one injury claim related to this issue.

The Solution

Honda will notify owners beginning April 17, and dealers – which are already prepared to begin repairs – will replace the driver’s air bag inflator with another inflator from an alternative supplier, free of charge.

Honda owners may contact customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Honda’s number for this recall is O41. Acura owners may contact customer service at 1-888-234-2138. Acura’s number for this recall is U40. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V182000.

Sean ReyesHonda Recalls Over 1.1 Million Vehicles Equipped With Faulty Takata Air Bag Inflators

Volkswagen Recalls More Than 100,000 Vehicles Equipped With Defective Takata Air Bags

 

Herndon, Va. – Feb. 28, 2019 – Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2015 Passat, 2015-2016 Eos, 2015-2017 CC, 2016-2017 TT Roadster, TT Coupe, 2017 Audi R8 Coupe, and R8 Spyder vehicles. This is part of a vast and ongoing scheduled recall of vehicles with Takata air bags. The potential number of units affected is 119,394.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Safety Report filed Jan. 11, the non-desiccated ammonium nitrate used as a propellant in the air bag inflators in the passenger side airbags of these vehicles poses a risk at some point in the future for all vehicles thus equipped.

If the driver’s frontal air bag deploys, the defective inflator could potentially rupture. The degrading ammonium nitrate present in the propellant wafers may explode under excessive internal pressure in the event of a crash which causes deployment of the driver’s frontal air bag.

In very rare cases, the explosion might mean that metal fragments could pass through the air bag cushion material and go flying into the interior of the vehicle from the passenger front side, potentially striking the vehicle occupants and conceivably resulting in serious injury or death.

This recall is part of a massive worldwide recall of vehicles with Takata airbags that is being conducted in waves starting with the vehicles that are at highest risk of propellant degradation (older vehicles and vehicles in Zones 1, 2, and 3.)  All test ruptures reported by Takata to date have occurred on inflators returned from regions subject to high absolute humidity.

Timeline of Events

The filing was made as required per the NHTSA Coordinated Remedy Order. The date of determination for Audi was Jan. 2, and the date of determination for Volkswagen was Jan. 9, 2019. Volkswagen will cooperate with NHTSA to prioritize and stagger vehicle repairs by joining NHTSA’s coordinated remedy program. The remedy components for this defect are not ammonium-nitrate based accelerant air bag inflators.

According to Consumer Reports, the investigation began in 2008, after reports of exploding air bags and flying metal shrapnel surfaced. The cause turned out to be degraded propellant wafers in the air bag inflators manufactured by Takata, which were installed in millions of cars between 2002 and 2015. Vehicles made by 19 different automakers have been recalled in what may turn out to be the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.

The Solution

The recall is expected to begin in March 2019. Volkswagen will notify owners by mail, and be instructed to take their vehicle to an authorized Audi dealer. Dealers will replace the driver’s frontal air bag inflator with an alternative part, free of charge. Audi and Volkswagen are excluding reimbursement for costs associated with replacement of air bag inflators. The Audi recalled component description is 4S0.880.201, and the Volkswagen’s part numbers are 3C8.880.201 and 561.880.201

Volkswagen owners may contact customer service at 1-800-893-5298; Audi owners should call 1-800-253-2834. The number for this recall is 69S8 (Audi) and 69Y5 (Volkswagen). Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for these recalls is 19V014000.

Sean ReyesVolkswagen Recalls More Than 100,000 Vehicles Equipped With Defective Takata Air Bags

Subaru Adds More Than 370,000 Vehicles To Takata Air Bag Recall List

 

Camden, N.J. – February 27, 2019 – Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain 2010-2013 Forester, 2010-2014 Tribeca, WRX, Outback, Legacy, and 2010-2011 Impreza vehicles sold or ever registered in specific regions, in two separate but related recalls. The range of vehicles included specific models and years, and is confined to potentially hot and humid regions. The total potential number of units affected is 373,514.

Vehicles being recalled are from the states of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana,  Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia, as well as the U.S. Territories of Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Defect

According to the NHTSA Safety Report filed on January 9th, all the recalled vehicles are equipped with Takata air bag inflators with propellant wafers that contain non-desiccated ammonium nitrate. The injectors are part of full passenger frontal air bag modules which have been utilized over many years as original equipment and replacement equipment. Takata’s investigation to date has revealed that the propellant wafers can degrade over time, especially when exposed over long periods of time to high absolute humidity and drastic temperature cycling.

This degradation can lead to explosive combustion in the event of a crash that triggers deployment of the passenger frontal air bag. Excessive internal pressure when the non-desiccated ammonium nitrate inflator with degraded propellant is activated can cause the inflator to rupture, causing metal fragments to pass through the air bag. As the sharp metal fragments exit the air bag module at high speed, they can enter the vehicle interior and strike the front seat passenger, driver or other occupants of the vehicle, potentially resulting in serious injury or death.

Timeline of Events

On November 3, 2015, the NHTSA and Takata entered into a Consent Order surrounding the defective airbag issue. On May 4, 2016, the NHTSA and Takata forged an amended agreement on the basis of testing and analysis conducted by Takata (and further independent testing by third party unaffiliated research organizations). Due to the results of those tests, the NHTSA concluded that all non-desiccated frontal Takata PSAN inflators will, at some point in the future, reach an unstable and dangerous threshold level of degradation. NHTSA then ordered Takata to file certain defect information reports (DIRs) which Takata submitted. On May 20, 2016, Subaru determined to launch a voluntary recall.

Subsequently, further DIRs were submitted by Takata in January of 2017, 2018 and 2019 in accordance with the schedule outlined by the NHTSA to roll out waves of recalls in order of priority and highest risk, and to allow time for manufacture of appropriate replacement parts to stock dealers in preparation for the recall. Subaru has issued regular recalls for subsequent series of vehicles in cooperation with the Takata DIR filings.

The Solution

The recall began January 25, 2019. Subaru is notifying owners to take their vehicles to dealerships where dealers will replace the front passenger air bag inflator, free of charge. Any vehicle owners who have already paid to fix this condition prior to this campaign may seek reimbursement for their costs. In the owner letters, Subaru has warned owners not to allow passengers to ride i the front passenger seat until the defect has been remedied. Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-844-373-6614.

Subaru’s numbers for these recalls are TKA-19 and TKB-19. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Campaign Numbers for these recalls are 19V007000 and 19V008000.

Sean ReyesSubaru Adds More Than 370,000 Vehicles To Takata Air Bag Recall List

Toyota Adds Nearly 1.3 Million Vehicles to Takata Air Bag Recall

 

Toyota, Japan – Feb. 27, 2019 – Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain vehicles equipped with Takata air bags containing inflators that can become hazardous over time. Affected vehicles cover units in a range manufactured between 2010 and 2017, from areas determined to be most at risk for propellant degradation. This includes most Southern, Mideastern and Midwestern states (classed as Zones A, B, and C) as well as U.S. territories including Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The potential number of units affected is 1,299,448. Vehicles affected may include:

• 2010-2016 Toyota 4Runner vehicles
• 2011-2015 Scion xB vehicles
• 2011-2015 Toyota Sienna vehicles
• 2010-2014 Lexus IS350C and IS250C vehicles
• 2011-2015 Lexus IS-F vehicles
• 2014-2017 Lexus GX460 vehicles
• 2011-2013 Toyota Corolla vehicles
• 2011-2013 Corolla Matrix vehicles

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Report filed Jan. 9, the subject vehicles all are equipped with front passenger air bag inflators of the Takata PSPI-6 designation. These airbags contain a non-desiccated, phase stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant. It has been determined that propellant degradation is certain to occur at some point in time after prolonged exposure to high absolute humidity or temperature.

If a non-desiccated ammonium nitrate inflator with degraded propellant is activated during a collision, it may result in a rupture of the inflator, which can subsequently cause metal fragments to pass through the air bag and into the vehicle interior. The high speed deployment of the fragments can cause severe injury or death to vehicle occupants.

Timeline of Events

On Jan. 2, Takata filed Part 573 reports in accordance with terms specified in the May 4, 2016 Amendment to the Nov. 3, 2015 Consent Order between Takata and the NHTSA. Based on Takata’s Part 573 reports, Toyota decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall about a week later to identify the subject vehicles and replace the air bag inflator or assembly. Toyota has, however, stated that it does not, by this action, fully endorse the content of Takata’s Part 573 reports.

Based on Toyota’s defect information report, the automaker is unable to provide an estimate of the percentage of vehicles that are an immediate danger. As noted in the May 2016 Amendment to the Takata Consent Order, the length of time that a non-desiccated frontal Takata PSAN inflator will have reached the point where they pose an unreasonable risk to safety could be quite long and is dependent on the age of the inflator and environmental exposure, among other factors. The recall is being deployed in phases with vehicles deemed most at risk – as well as those located in hot and humid regions – being prioritized.

The Solution

The recall began Feb. 15. By March 10, all known owners of the affected Toyota and Lexus vehicles will have been notified of the recall by first class mail, and instructed to return their vehicles to a Toyota or Lexus dealer, as applicable. Depending on the vehicle model, dealers will either replace the front passenger airbag inflator only, or replace the entire airbag assembly, free of charge. Any vehicle owners who have already paid to fix this condition prior to this campaign may seek reimbursement for their costs.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota’s numbers for this recall are “Zone A” – Toyota: G0P, Lexus: GLG; “Zone B” – Toyota: G0R, Lexus GLH; “Zone C” – Toyota: H0A, and Lexus: HLA. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V005000.

Sean ReyesToyota Adds Nearly 1.3 Million Vehicles to Takata Air Bag Recall

Ford Adds Nearly 800,000 More Vehicles to Takata Airbag recall List

 

Dearborn, Mich. – Feb. 26, 2019 – Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling a range of vehicles from the years 2010-2014 that have been sold or registered at any point in certain states or territories of the U.S. This is part of the wider ongoing Takata air bag recall, and is in regard to the vehicles determined to be most at risk from the potential hazard. The potential number of units affected is 782,384. Vehicles include certain:

• 2010 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX vehicles
• 2010-2011 Ford Ranger and Mercury Milan vehicles
• 2010-2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ vehicles
• 2010-2014 Ford Mustang vehicles
• 2011 Ford Ranger and Mercury Milan vehicles
• 2011-2012 Ford Fusion and Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ vehicles
• 2011-2014 Ford Mustang vehicles
• 2014 Ford Mustang vehicles

Territories affected include Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan) and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, most states affected are those in areas designated Zones A,B, and C for the purposes of Takata-associated recalls.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety Report filed on Jan. 7, the vehicles in question were originally equipped with a Takata air bag that included an ammonium nitrate powered inflator within the assembly of the passenger frontal air bag module. (The air bag inflators were also used as replacements, so vehicles which have had the air bag replaced may still have a faulty device.)

If a vehicle which is so equipped is involved in a crash and the front passenger airbag deploys, there is a significant risk of the inflators exploding. This is due to propellant degradation, which typically occurs in response to long-term exposure to weather in hot and humid environments.

If an inflator explodes out of the front of the airbag, flying pieces of metal can strike passengers and the driver and cause serious injuries or death.

The Zones designated for the Takata recall are being prioritized as their climate leads to more rapid degradation, and vehicles are being recalled in waves with the oldest makes and models first, do to the higher risk involved for such vehicles and the pace of production for replacement air bags being limited by the sheer number needed to replace all in service.

Timeline of Events

On May 3, 2016, an Amendment to the Nov. 3, 2015 Consent Order was filed after the NHTSA evaluated the rate at which propellant degradation may occur in non-desiccated frontal airbag inflators. It was adjudged that there was significant variation based on geographic factors affecting both environmental heat and humidity. The department further concluded that all non-desiccated frontal Takata PSAN inflators will reach a threshold level of degradation at some point, at which time the inflator has a significantly increased risk of becoming unreasonably dangerous.

According to previous filings, other than inflators already under recall, Takata is not aware of any test ruptures in ballistic testing or confirmed field incidents related to the subject non-desiccated ammonium nitrate inflators. On Dec. 17, 2018, Ford’s Field Review Committee decided to issue the next phase of this recall to cover vehicles from the priority zones and years covering 2010 to 2014.

The Solution

Owners will be notified by mail with instructions to take their vehicle to a Ford or Lincoln dealer to have their passenger frontal air bag inflator replaced, free of charge, with one that utilizes an inflator without ammonium nitrate. According to the owner letter from Ford, an appointment must be scheduled in accordance with parts and scheduling availability at the chosen dealer. The recall began Feb. 18, 2019. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford’s number for this recall 19S01. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V001000.

Sean ReyesFord Adds Nearly 800,000 More Vehicles to Takata Airbag recall List

Ferrari Adds More Than 11,000 Vehicles to the Takata Air Bags Recall List

 

Englewood Cliffs, N.J. – February 26, 2019 – Ferrari North America (Ferrari) is recalling certain Ferrari vehicles nationwide. This is part of the larger international Takata air bag recall, which affects a wide range of vehicles (models, makes, and years) across multiple manufacturers. The potential number of units affected is 11,176. Affected models include those from years 2014-2018:

• 2014-Ferrari California
• 2014-2015 Ferrari 458 Italia
• 2014-2016 Ferrari FF
• 2014-2017 Ferrari F12
• 2015-2018 Ferrari California T
• 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale A
• 2016 Ferrari F60 America
• 2016-2017 Ferrari F12 tdf
• 2016-2018 Ferrari 488 GTB
• 2017-2018 Ferrari GTC4Lusso
• 458 Spider and 488 Spider

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report filed Jan. 9, 2019, the specified vehicles were equipped with a certain Takata air bag inflator as part of the fully assembled passenger frontal air bag module. These models were used both in originally equipped vehicles and as replacements in later years.

Vehicles with these inflators that are involved in a crash in which the front passenger air bag deploys are at risk of the inflators exploding. Such an explosion can be prompted by propellant degradation that may occur after long-term exposure to temperature cycling and absolute humidity. Inflator explosion may result in shrapnel bursting from the air bag mount area. Fragments could hit the driver or passengers in the vehicle, and cause serious injury or even death.

Timeline of Events

Takata filed a Defect Information Report with the NHTSA Jan. 2, 2019. Ferrari subsequently filed its own DIR on this incident. As yet, Ferrari is not aware of any confirmed field incidents, warranty claims or consumer complaints about their vehicles that included any of the indicated Takata passenger air bags equipped with the non-desiccated ammonium nitrate inflators.

Ferrari chose to conduct a voluntary safety recall on all affected vehicles, and is prioritizing its recalls in accordance with the risk, as availability of replacement assemblies is limited and the age of the inflator is a factor in the risk.

This recall follows a previous recall which was issued in June 2018, and which listed the following models from the years 2009-2013.

• 2009-California
• 2010-California and 458 Italia
• 2011-California and 458 Italia
• 2012-458 Italia, 458 Spider, FF and California
• 2013-458 Italia, 458 Spider, FF, F12berlinetta and California

The Solution

Ferrari will notify owners, and dealers will replace the current front passenger airbag assembly which includes a PSPI-2 inflator, with an airbag assembly including a new non-ammonium nitrate inflator free of charge. Any customers who already incurred a cost associated with repair of this defect can send the original receipt and/or other adequate proof of payment to the company for reimbursement.

The recall is expected to begin March 9, 2019. Owners may contact Ferrari customer service at 1-866-551-2828. Ferrari’s number for this recall is 65. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V006000.

Sean ReyesFerrari Adds More Than 11,000 Vehicles to the Takata Air Bags Recall List

BMW Recalls More Than 80,000 2007-2013 Vehicles Due to Takata Airbags

 

Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey – February 25, 2019 – BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2007-2013 X5 xDrive30i, X5 xDrive35i, X5 xDrive48i, X5 xDrive50i and X5 M vehicles, 2008-2014 X6 xDrive35i, X6 xDrive50i and X6 M vehicles, 2009-2013 X5 xDrive35d vehicles and 2010-2011 X6 ActiveHybrid vehicles as part of the larger Takata airbag recall, which spans decades of vehicles across multiple manufacturers.  The potential number of units affected is 83,016.

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these vehicles are equipped with specific Takata-manufactured air bag inflators as part of their passenger frontal air bag modules. These non-desiccated propellant filled inflator types may have been original equipment or used as replacements.

Due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to absolute humidity and temperature cycling, these inflators can become unstable and may explode in the event of a crash that triggers the deployment of the passenger frontal air bag. In the case of an inflator explosion, sharp metal fragments can fly out of the inflator, striking the driver or other occupants and potentially resulting in serious injury or death.

Timeline of Events

Based upon Takata DIRs that were filed with the NHTSA Jan. 2, 2019, BMW vehicle assembly records were subsequently reviewed to determine what an appropriate potentially affected vehicle population would be, and made the following determination based on recall component differentiation to non-recall component: The recalled component contains a specific non-desiccated ammonium nitrate as the gas generator but the newer remedy part does not.

Propellant wafers in some of the subject inflators degrade over time, which could potentially lead to a violent explosion with flying metal shards in the event of air bag deployment. The potential for such an event occurs in some of the subject inflators after several years of exposure to persistent conditions of high absolute humidity or temperature.

Other factors, such as specific vehicle environment, the inflator and propellant configuration, and manufacturing variability, can also influence the likelihood of an event. Vehicles from southern and coastal areas of the U.S. appear to be more likely to have experienced this degradation. In the face of the latest information from Takata, BMW voluntarily choose to conduct a safety recall to replace the frontal air bags on the affected vehicles. This decision came to pass solely on the basis of information provided by Takata. BMW is unaware of any injuries arising from this issue at the time of the report.

The Solution

Recall notification to owners is planned to begin and end March 4, 2019. The passenger’s front air bag module will be replaced. Owners will be notified by first class mail and instructed to take their vehicle to an authorized BMW center to have the remedy performed for free. Owners who have replaced the air bag module at their own expense prior to the recall notification may be eligible for reimbursement according to the automaker’s reimbursement plan.  Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V017000.

Sean ReyesBMW Recalls More Than 80,000 2007-2013 Vehicles Due to Takata Airbags

Chrysler Adds Nearly 1.5 Million More Vehicles to the Takata Recall List

 

Auburn Hills, Mich. – February 25, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler (FCA US LLC) is recalling certain 2010 Dodge Ram 3500, Ram 4500/5500, 2010-2011 Dodge Dakota, 2010-2014 Dodge Challenger, 2010-2015 Dodge Challenger, Chrysler 300, and 2010-2016 Jeep Wrangler vehicles as part of the ongoing multi-manufacturer recalls associated with Takata airbags. The potential number of units affected is 1,413,222

The Defect

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Safety Report regarding this matter, Takata’s non-desiccated front passenger air bag inflators containing phase stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant were installed in certain 2010 MY Dodge Ram 3500 vehicles and have not been addressed by prior recalls. These systems may experience propellant degradation occurring after prolonged exposure to high levels of heat, absolute humidity and temperature cycling.

The triggering of a non-desiccated PSAN inflator with degraded propellant, in a vehicle crash where the air bag would naturally deploy, may result in an inflator rupture. That, in turn, might cause metal fragments to pass through the air bag and into the vehicle interior at high speed, potentially injuring or even killing vehicle occupants.

Timeline of Events

According to the chronology submitted to the NHTSA, in June 2014, the department’s Office of Defects Investigation opened a case based on six inflator rupture incidents involving vehicles produced by five manufacturers. All six cars were operated in Florida or Puerto Rico at the time of the rupture and for the majority of their product lifecycle, and were equipped with Takata inflators. ODI determined that five additional vehicle manufacturers used inflators of a similar design and vintage also supplied by Takata. ODI requested all 10 manufacturers expand the regional recalls for passenger inflators as Takata’s testing of the passenger inflators to date continued to indicate hot and humid area as having the highest risk, but in light of eight more field incidents, the recall was expanded nationally.

On May 4, 2016, NHTSA expanded the scope of the original recalls to include additional vehicles built with non-desiccated PSAN air bag inflators. On May 16, 2016, Takata submitted a 573 Defect Information Report to NHTSA stating that the front programmable smokeless passenger inflator and non-desiccated air bag inflator could contain a safety defect. Since most of the inflator ruptures are associated with long-term PSAN propellant degradation (caused by years of exposure to temperature fluctuations and intrusion of moisture present in the ambient atmosphere), recall populations have occurred in segments with the oldest vehicles from hot and humid locations recalled first.

The Solution

Chrysler is issuing a recall on all affected vehicles. The recall began Feb. 4, 2019, and owners should be contacted on or around Feb. 28. Owners who incurred the cost of repairing a problem may send adequate proof of payment to the company for confirmation of the expense and a subsequent refund. Also, the automaker’s dealers will replace the defective non-desiccated passenger frontal air bag inflator desiccated PSAN inflator or GUNI inflator free of charge.  Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is V01. Owners may also contact the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov. The NHTSA Campaign Number for this recall is 19V018000.

Sean ReyesChrysler Adds Nearly 1.5 Million More Vehicles to the Takata Recall List

Toyota Collaborates with the Carma Project to Encourage Recall Compliance

 

Laguna Hills, Calif. – January 31, 2019 – Toyota is seeking to make more vehicle owners aware of recent recalls, particularly the Takata air bag recall, which is expected to affect 55 to 70 million vehicles across 19 manufacturers by the end of 2019. To that end, the automotive manufacturer is partnering with the Carma Project, run by Tony Lim, to incentivize spreading awareness of the recall and prompt customers to check their vehicle identification numbers (VINs) to see if their car is affected.

Takata Airbag Recall

Impacted vehicles were originally fitted with Takata air bags. These air bags’ inflators are filled with ammonium nitrate, which can become unstable over time due to degradation caused by aging, temperature fluctuations and humidity. Once the material is no longer stable, a crash can cause the metal canister inside the air bag to explode, sending shrapnel flying through the interior of the car and putting the driver and any passengers at risk of serious injury or death.

The Carma Project

Anyone can visit carmaproject.com, sign up, and share messages about the recall to their social network. Participants can receive $5 in gift cards for every Toyota owner who schedules an appointment to have their vehicle repaired, and an additional $50 worth of gift cards when they actually have their vehicle repaired. Actions taken on social platforms or elsewhere can be recorded and rewarded with “Carma Coins,” which are redeemable as gift cards from major retailers through the Bitmo platform.

Air Bag Replacement

The air bag replacement is free for the Toyota owner, who can have the service done at any Toyota or Lexus location. Carma Group also offers a downloadable app, which can be used to check and see if any vehicle is part of the recall.

Toyota determines which vehicles are eligible for bonuses (CarmaCoin) based on the priority group assigned to the vehicle by NHTSA. For more information visit www.safercar.gov.

Sean ReyesToyota Collaborates with the Carma Project to Encourage Recall Compliance

Fiat Chrysler Recalls 1.4 Million Vehicles Due to Takata Air Bags

Laguna Hills, Calif. – January 29, 2019 – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is recalling 1.4 million vehicles in the U.S. to have their Takata air bag inflators replaced. The action includes 2010-2015 Chrysler 300 sedans, 2010-2011 Dodge Dakota trucks, 2010-2014 Dodge Challenger coupes, 2011-2015 Dodge Charger sedans, 2010-2016 Jeep Wrangler SUVs, and 2010 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 trucks.

The Defect

According to Consumer Reports, the Takata air bag inflators use ammonium nitrate to inflate the air bag in the event of a crash. That compound has been found to become unstable over time, especially after exposure to temperature fluctuations and periods of constant high humidity. The instability can cause inflators to explode with violent force during an impact.

If a defective air bag ruptures, it can cause sharp metal fragments to fly outwards directly into the faces of the driver and passengers. This loose debris can significantly increase the risk of serious injury or death for all occupants of the vehicle.

Timeline of Events

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Takata recall is the largest and most complex automotive recall in U.S. history. It covers 50 million air bag inflators in 37 million cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks from 19 manufacturers. At least 15 drivers’ and passengers’ deaths – and more than 250 injuries – have been attributed to the devices.

The recall has been spaced out to allow manufacturers time to acquire and stock replacement parts. Since the degradation of the inflator material occurs over time, the recall addressed the oldest affected cars first as well as those located in areas of temperature fluctuation and high humidity. The recall notices have been since rolled out in phases on a predetermined schedule. The latest rollout includes the Fiat Chrysler vehicles, and these recalls will continue into 2020.

The Solution

FCA says it will let owners of affected vehicles know when they can schedule service. Dealers will replace the passenger-side front air bag inflator free of charge. Owners can contact FCA’s recall information center at 800-853-1403. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Sean ReyesFiat Chrysler Recalls 1.4 Million Vehicles Due to Takata Air Bags