NHTSA Head Affected by Takata Recalls

Dearborn, MI — March 24, 2016 — Throughout the coverage of the Takata airbag recalls, Mark Rosekind’s name often comes up. As the public face of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Rosekind has been a vocal opponent of the ineffective way some major recalls have been handled. Now, however, the largest recall in history seems to have affected Rosekind personally.

The Associated Press reported that one of the vehicles Rosekind’s family uses is part of the Takata recall effort. This enormous safety undertaking has seen 14 manufacturers struggle to replace dangerous airbag inflators in affected vehicles. While Rosekind has not given any specific information on the make or model year, he did say that this circumstance allows him a new, unique perspective on the effort.

“I now have that personal experience to be able to deal with it and see how we can push,” Rosekind said recently. “It is a source of information that probably typically is not available to an administrator facing something like this.” The source also noted that Rosekind is borrowing a car from a dealer while he waits for repairs, much like most consumers.

As of March 11, the NHTSA reported that more than 7.5 million airbags had been repaired, most of them of the driver-side kind. Though there’s still the potential for more actions to extend the recall beyond the current numbers, progress has steadily increased since August 2015. The latest statistics from this agency showed that 33.4 percent of air bags are repaired in March 2016, a 2 percent growth over February’s repair statistics.

The NHTSA has worked towards a full recall since last May, and recently expanded the numbers to apply to 28 million inflators in January. The agency also granted a five-month extension to BMW, so the manufacturer has time to obtain more replacement parts.

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