Airbag Maker Takata’s Future On The Rocks In The Largest Automotive Recall
Takata, a renowned brand for making airbags, has already recalled 30 to 40 million airbags since the issue of its exploding airbags hit the news. Reports showed that the airbags have the tendency to explode sending shrapnel or bits of metal causing further damage and death than its function to prevent so.
These incidents have already caused deaths, with 11 casualties in the U.S. alone and two more in Malaysia in the past three weeks. Nearly 28.8 million cars have already been recalled in the U.S., but as of April 22, only 8.17 million units have been fixed. Thus, Mark Rosekind, administrator of the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHSTA), asked in a press conference that vehicle owners who are affected and given notice for repair should take action immediately.
It has been suggested that humid conditions alter the compositions of the chemical ammonium nitrate that reacts to deploy these inflators, causing it to explode spontaneously or unnecessarily. The acceleration of the massive recall would subject about 40 million new cars, and the materials and its replacements could take the solutions up to years, up until 2019, Rosekind said.
He advised owners to look for loaner cars for the mean time but cleared that "NHTSA has no authority to require loaners to be made available." The first notice of defect will be filed on May 16 affecting 14 million U.S. inflators.
Takata CEO and Chairman Shigehisa Takada said in a statement that, "This agreement with NHTSA is consistent with our desire to work with regulators and our automaker customers to develop long-term, orderly solutions to these important safety issues," as NHSTA authorities urged Takata to agree on its expanded recall.
Meanwhile, as of Wednesday, the stocks of the company have dropped to 9.25 percent. Moreover, despite being under fire and being fined $70 million last November, the company refused to acknowledge or apologize for the issue of its airbags, which has been going on for years, until last summer when Takada made an apology for failing to take action sooner.
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