New Takata Recall Affects Millions Of Vehicles
These days, it seems like every week brings with it a new automotive recall. Over the last few years, millions of different vehicles have been recalled and virtually every major automaker has been forced to issue a recall of some kind.
This week is no different, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration just issued an order to Takata to recall more than 2.7 million additional vehicles including those sold by: Ford, Mazda, Nissan.
Takata isn't an auto manufacturer, but are instead the creators of the airbag systems that are installed in vehicles from the manufacturers listed above. This isn't' the first recall that has impacted Takata or airbags - a total of roughly 70 million airbags have been recalled in the US alone, and more than 100 million have been recalled around the world.
That's a huge number, but when you consider the statistics regarding the airbags it's not hard to understand why.
• So far, 11 Americans have been killed due to faulty airbags from Takata
• At least 18 people have been killed around the world by the airbags
• About 180 injuries have been sustained so far due to these airbags
The Takata company itself has already declared bankruptcy, filing in June of 2017 and selling assets to Key Safety Systems, headquartered in Detroit. While this means that replacements of the faulty airbag inflators should be sped up, a part shortage is still expected and owners trying to get their vehicles repaired are facing longer wait times than normal for most recalls. Shortages of parts needed to repair is already one problem, but not the only one.
Older vehicles are impacted as well, and could have been sold, resold, and resold again over the years. As such, tracking down current owners of an affected vehicle isn't easy. Many could be driving their vehicle without even realizing that a recall has been issued.
The number of vehicles impacted from each manufacturer varies greatly as well, with Ford facing the biggest numbers. This latest recall affects manufacturers at a rate that is staggering:
• 2.2 million Ford vehicles are impacted
• 6,000 Mazda trucks are affected
• 627,000 Nissan Versa cars from 2007 to 2012 are impacted as well
Currently, only a third of America's faulty airbags have been repaired, due in large part to the shortage of parts following the announcement and the bankruptcy filing of Takata. But experts are concerned that this is only the beginning.
Takata initially believed that a manufacturing issue in two of their factors were to blame, leading to problems with airbag inflators that were used in warmer, higher humidity climates. Because of this initial belief, the first recalls were geographically targeted. But over time, problems began appearing in dry, cool climates as well and the recall began to be extended to a much larger area.
Also, Takata's initial statement that certain airbags from them - specifically, those with moisture absorbent materials - were safe has now been shown to be a problem. This expansion of the recall throws all Takata airbags into question, and it's likely that the recall levels will reach even hair numbers.
Already, this has become the largest automotive recall in history. But the continuing expansion of the recall means that it's likely that things will continue to get worse for the company and for motorists. With the number of impacted vehicles climbing and the parts shortage growing due to increased demand, this Takata airbag recall has become one of the biggest, most startling events to happen in the auto industry.
The recalls are an attempt at keeping motorists safe, but so far there is no clear solution as to how to effectively manage the issue.