Tokyo, Japan — November, 19 2015 — Although it already encompasses around 19 million vehicles, the Takata airbag recalls are still an ongoing effort, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warning that it could expand even more. As the Boston Globe reports, several auto companies currently still use airbags from the same manufacturer, with some not even testing their current units. These include Daimler and Spartan Motors.
Earlier this month, the NHTSA announced a $200 million penalty for Takata, alongside a Coordinated Remedy Order that addresses both the airbag company and the various manufacturers associated with the recalls. This Order requires manufacturers to meet a specific deadline for solving airbag concerns, including a “final remedy” for vehicles within the next four years.
In addition, the Administration has also established several priority groups for securing remedy parts, the earliest of which is March 31 of next year. The highest priority group of vehicles consists of “generally those from model years 2008 or older that have spent time in the high absolute humidity region and that have either a recalled driver-side inflator or both driver and passenger-side inflators.”
The source also notes some of the key factors influencing Takata inflator damage, including age, location and where in the vehicle the inflator is placed. Inflators are at higher risk of damage if they are older and have been exposed to humid climates.
Mark Rosekind, Administrator for the NHTSA, described the ways this new effort would hopefully impact consumer safety in the long run.
“We are accelerating Takata recalls to get safe air bags into American vehicles more quickly, ensuring that consumers at the greatest risk are protected, and addressing the long-term risk of Takata’s use of a suspect propellant,” he said in a press release.