Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that Takata will declare 33.8 million vehicles defective because they are equipped with airbags that can explode and spray occupants with shards of metal.
“U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that at the Department’s insistence, air bag manufacturer Takata has acknowledged that a defect exists in its air bag inflators,” NHTSA said in a statement.
“Takata has agreed to a national recall of certain types of driver and passenger side air bag inflators,” NHTSA continued. “These inflators were made with a propellant that can degrade over time and has led to ruptures that have been blamed for six deaths worldwide. The action expands the number of vehicles to be recalled for defective Takata inflators to nearly 34 million.”
This action expands the US Takata recall, adding 17 million vehicles to the previous 16 million total. It’s the most monumental recall in US history and has captured the attention of Congress, which last year held hearings of the the matter.
Here’s everything we know about the Takata recall:
• Prior to Tuesday, 28 million vehicles had been recalled worldwide.
• Owners can go to this NHTSA website to determine if their vehicles are under recall.
• In the the US, Takata’s reluctance to cooperate with the government has been costly. “NHTSA in February began fining Takata $14,000 a day for not completely answering questions about air-bag inflator production and company efforts to investigate the explosions,” Bloomberg’s Jeff Plungis reported.
• Bloomberg reported that Takata had agreed to larger fine with NHTSA, but didn’t name a figure.
• In a joint statement, US Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts said that since “reports revealed Americans were dying as a result of exploding airbags made by Takata, we have been asking for a nationwide recall on all affected cars.”
• The recall has devastated Takata’s bottom line.
• Honda has been disproportionately affected by the recall, but numerous other carmaker also have Takata airbags in their vehicles. Honda’s CEO stepped down earlier this year.
• Takata’a president also stepped down last year.
• In November, US Senators saw gruesome images of the injuries that malfunctioning Takata airbag inflators can inflict.
• The recalls began in 2013 and have escalated over the past two years. •Six deaths have been linked to the faulty airbags, all in Honda vehicles