The growing crisis involving Takata airbags is reaching the proportions that the General Motors ignition switch issue reached last year. For those who do not own a GM vehicle, the recall involving defective ignition switches (which could turn off a car’s engine and electrical functions) affected millions of vehicles in the United States and Canada. The issue went unabated for years and even led to GM being fined a record amount of money for not acting quickly or prudently in addressing the issue.
Also last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a frantic and dire warning to car owners in the southeast and mid-Atlantic states over concerns that Takata airbags could harm consumers by sending shrapnel like metal fragments into drivers and passengers when they inflate. The alarm led to thousands of cars being recalled from the likes of BMW, Honda, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz.
Over the past few months, more cars have been added to the recall; and recently, it was expanded once again, but for a different reason (and defect). According to an ABC News.com report, the new defect involves a leak that can occur when the car is in motion that could cause a rupture in the airbag casing, which would cause the airbag to explode.
According to the NHTSA, investigators have not identified the cause of the issue. Fortunately, no injuries or accidents have been reported due to this issue. However, the recall is important because automakers have a continuing duty to inform consumers of defects that can harm them, and they must act reasonably to correct them.
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