The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has demanded that auto manufacturers recall any automobiles that have been equipped with defective airbags using Takata-made inflators. The Takata Corp. airbag inflators are in danger of exploding and spewing out metal fragments onto passengers and drivers in the affected automobiles.
According to federal regulators, the defective airbags can cause severe injuries and even death to those inside affected cars. Due to these dangers, millions of automobiles have already been recalled in areas that have high humidity -- such as Hawaii, Puerto Rico and states along the Gulf Coast. Allegedly, elevated levels of humidity can result in the airbag inflator's repellant burning faster than intended, causing the dangerous explosions and metal fragment spewing to occur.
8 Million Airbag Recalls Not Enough: Regulators Say
Federal regulators say that the approximately 8 million cars that have already been recalled are not enough. Regulators say that a serious injury occurred in North Carolina and a death occurred in California relating to the airbags -- and these states are not inside the high humidity regions covered by previous recalls. According to the NHTSA's deputy administrator, one accident out of the recall area might have been dismissed as a fluke, but two instances is two too many. The NHTSA needs to act now, the deputy administrator said.
Lawmakers have put pressure on regulators to include all 50 states in the recall, and they have partially achieved this goal. The problem is that the expanded recall will only cover driver-side airbags. At this time, there have not been any reports of injury or death relating to an exploding passenger-side airbag outside high humidity regions.
Recall Affects 5 Different Automakers
The recall includes motor vehicles manufactured by Honda, Ford, Chrysler, BMW and Mazda -- most of which are from model years 2008 and before. According to regulators, if Takata and affected automakers do not come to an agreement on the recall swiftly, they will formally institute a mandatory recall nationwide.
Have you or your loved one suffered injury or death as a result of an automobile defect? You may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney to evaluate the viability of pursuing a personal injury claim for damages in civil court.
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