Cars outfitted with Takata Air Bags have been in the news for quite some time for causing severe injuries and even deaths as a result of how they are manufactured. In fact, we have written more than a couple of blogs on this very subject and we aren't happy writing another. Neither should many new car buyers!
It was reported last week that at least 4 automakers - Toyota, Fiat, Chrysler and Mitsubishi - are continuing to build and sell brand new cars with defective Takata Air Bags according to a Senate Commerce Committee report. While many older models are being recalled for having these air bags installed they are selling the newest models with air bags on the recall list. Let's get a show of hands for anyone willing to spend a new car price on a car with a known safety issue that's already killed and injured people worldwide.
The root of the problem is the compound ammonium nitrate. This is what inflates the air bag when it's called on. This compound breaks down over time when exposed to moisture or temperature swings and when this happens it can cause the metal casing to fragment. When those fragments are driven into the face of a driver or passenger bad things happen. Takata has been barred from entering into new contracts for air bags containing this compound and is phasing out existing contracts.
Toyota expects to produce upwards of 175,000 cars with these air bags for the United States market and the other manufacturers will introduce somewhat fewer cars. These manufacturers are preparing their response to the Senate and each company referred questions to Takata. Automakers in general are moving away from air bags with Ammonium nitrate and it should be noted that they have already replaced 2.1 million Takata Air Bags. Doesn't it make you wonder why these manufacturers are selling cars with known safety issues?
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