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Are Your Car’s Airbags Ready for Retirement?

Growing signs that airbags can begin to fail -- to possibly deadly consequences -- as they age.

by on Aug.12, 2016

Airbags are intended to protect you in a crash, but as the Takata case shows, they can be deadly if they don't work right.

Following the recent death of a Canadian motorist, federal safety regulators in the U.S. have expanded a probe that could lead to the recall of 8 million or more vehicles to replace faulty airbags.

If that scenario sounds familiar, it echoes the situation touched off by more than a dozen deaths in vehicles using defective airbags provided by Japanese auto supplier Takata Corp. Ultimately, as many as 50 million vehicles using Takata airbags could face recall. But the latest probe involves a different supplier, American-based ARC Automotive.

The Last Word!

Both the Takata and ARC airbags may over-inflate during a crash, sending deadly shrapnel spewing into the passenger compartment. But a series pf separate recalls announced just since April of this year, targeted more than 4.5 million other vehicles whose airbags may not function at all during a crash. And that could be just hint of an even bigger issue that could eventually pose a safety risk for virtually every vehicle on the road.

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Airbag Control Module Defect Forcing Seven Makers to Recall 5 Mil Vehicles

Problem could prevent airbag deployment in crash – or trigger inflation accidentally.

by on Feb.04, 2016

The 2008 Honda Accord is one of the vehicles affected by a recall due to faulty airbag controllers.

A total of 5 million vehicles will be recalled due to a defective airbag control module that could accidentally trigger one of the devices – or prevent an airbag from deploying in the event of a crash.

The announcement by German supplier Continental comes less than a day after one of its customers, Honda Motor Co., issued a recall covering 341,000 Accord sedans. Separately, the Japanese maker also announced it was recalling 2.23 million Honda and Acura vehicles due to faulty Takata airbags.

Safety News!

Widely hailed as one of the most significant safety devices since the introduction of the seatbelt, airbags have become the source of some of the biggest recalls in recent years. The Takata problem alone is now affecting more than 20 million vehicles in the U.S.

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Takata Loses $46 Mil as Toyota Calls it Quits

Future uncertain for supplier linked to fatal airbag issue.

by on Nov.06, 2015

Toyota's CEO Akio Toyoda cuts the cord and sets Takata even further adrift.

Things appear to be getting worse by the day for embattled Japanese supplier Takata Corp., the company that produced faulty airbag inflators linked to at least eight deaths and 98 injuries.

The company began the week by accepting a consent agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that included a $70 million fine. It has since watched its stock go into a tailspin as a steady stream of customers has headed for the door.

The Last Word!

Now, Toyota has joined the exodus just as Takata announces it lose 5.6 billion yen, or $45.8 million for the first half of its fiscal year – with analysts predicting the company’s financial situation is likely only to grow worse.

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Takata Hit with $70 Mil Fine – But Could Face Another $130 Mil

Honda to stop using Takata airbags.

by on Nov.03, 2015

A Takata airbag after a crash.

(This story has been updated to reflect Honda’s decision to stop using Takata airbags.)

Even as the supplier faces the prospect of new recalls, Takata could be in for a fine of as much as $200 million if it doesn’t follow up on demands laid out in a consent decree with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Takata, whose faulty airbag inflators have been blamed for at least eight deaths and 98 injuries, will face an immediate $70 million in penalties. It will then be watched by an independent monitor and, if it doesn’t live up to several conditions – including a speed-up in its recall process – it could face another $130 million in deferred penalties.

Safety News!

The cost of the settlement could be dwarfed by legal fees and penalties from an ongoing Justice Department criminal investigation. Meanwhile, Honda, Takata’s largest customer, said Tuesday it is severing ties with the supplier.

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More Airbag Trouble for Honda

Feds launch investigation on reports of Accord airbag failures.

by on Aug.24, 2015

The 2008 Honda Accord is subject to a preliminary investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for faulty airbags.

Already struggling to fix millions of vehicles recalled due to defective Takata airbag inflators, Honda has run into still more airbag problems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation covering 384,000 Honda Accords after receiving reports of 19 incidents in which the vehicles’ aribags failed to deploy during a crash. The investigation could eventually lead to a recall that could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, according to some reports.

Safety News!

The problem, it appears, may be the result of a faulty Supplemental Restraint System, or SRS, control module, notes NHTSA, a statement by the agency noting that, “For vehicles with a failed SRS module, some or all of the airbags may be unavailable in a crash warranting deployment.”

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Hidden Killers? What Happens When Airbags Age?

Federal regulators worried that safety systems could fail -- or worse -- on older vehicles.

by on Jul.21, 2015

A Takata airbag after a crash. The supplier hasn't been able to pinpoint the problem causing the airbags to explode.

© 2015 TheDetroitBureau.com

They’ve been called one of the most important safety technologies ever developed, but there’s growing concern that as airbags age they could become a major threat to the safety of millions of American motorists.

Nearly a dozen different automakers have so far recalled more than 40 million vehicles around the world due to faulty airbags produced by Japan’s Takata Corp. that have been blamed for at least eight deaths and 100s of injuries. But as NHTSA launches an investigation into the supplemental restraint system provided by a second supplier, the nation’s top automotive safety regulator told TheDetroitBureau.com that he’s worried the problem could be far more widespread.

Your Source for Auto Safety News!

“Cars are lasting on the road a lot longer than ever before,” said Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during a visit to Detroit. “Is aging now an issue? That’s part of the investigation going on.”

And it’s taking on increased urgency as automotive regulators, safety advocates and industry officials begin to question whether a technology designed to save lives can, over time, become a threat to life and limb.

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Another 5 Mil Vehicles Added to Takata Airbag Recall

Honda continues to be hurt by relationship with airbag maker.

by on May.15, 2015

Takata's Hiroshi Shimizu testified before a congressional subcommittee, but the company maintains it doesn't need to expand its recall.

Days after Toyota and Nissan announced the recall of 6.5 million vehicles due to potentially faulty Takata airbags, Honda and Daihatsu have launched new service actions of their own covering yet another 5 million vehicles sold worldwide.

That will bring to about 35 million the total number of vehicles that have been recalled as a result of a problem that can cause airbags to inflate over-aggressively in a crash, sending shrapnel flying into the passenger compartment. The problem has so far been linked to a half-dozen deaths, most of them in the United States.

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As part of the latest announcements, Honda will inspect and, if necessary, replace airbags in 4.89 million vehicles sold around the world. Honda, which has a financial relationship with Takata as part of its keiretsu, or closely linked supplier network, has had the largest number of vehicles impacted by the airbag problem. (more…)

NHTSA Increases Takata Airbag Warning to Cover 7.8 Million Vehicles

Agency failed to account for Ford, Subaru in first alert.

by on Oct.22, 2014

Three Subaru models, including this 2003 Outback, were added to the recall warning list.

Federal safety regulators bungled their first attempt to warn owners of 7.8 million recalled vehicles equipped with airbags produced by Takata Corp. that they should bring their vehicles to dealers for immediate repair.

In an unprecedented move, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued an alert to vehicle owners that the airbags could explode causing injury and even death to vehicle occupants, particularly in areas with high humidity. Several phone calls to Takata by TheDetroitBureau were not returned.

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“Responding to these recalls, whether old or new, is essential to personal safety and it will help aid our ongoing investigation into Takata airbags and what appears to be a problem related to extended exposure to consistently high humidity and temperatures,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman in a statement. “However, we’re leaving no stone unturned in our aggressive pursuit to track down the full geographic scope of this issue.”

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NHTSA Set to Expand Unprecedented Airbag Recall Alert Covering Nearly 5 Mil Vehicles

Faulty Takata airbags linked to numerous accidents, fatalities.

by on Oct.21, 2014

More than 2.8 million Hondas, including the 2003-2011 model year Element, are part of a recall involving Takata airbags.

Federal regulators are set to expand on an already unprecedented recall alert issued Monday to owners of nearly 5 million vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags.

With evidence showing those safety devices could unexpectedly fail, especially in high-humidity regions of the country, regulators want to make sure owners don’t ignore recall warnings already issued by manufacturers including BMW, General Motors, Honda and Toyota, among others. Only about 70% of motorists typically fix vehicles that have been recalled, and that rate falls off on older models, such as those covered by the NHTSA announcement. The number of companies affected is expected to increase as well.

Your Flagship News Source!

NHTSA is engaged in an active investigation of the company’s airbags and Takata is cooperating, according to officials. (more…)

Takata Airbag Problem Engulfs Toyota

Latest recall pushes maker’s total over 2 million vehicles.

by on Oct.20, 2014

Toyota recalled the 2003-2005 Sequoia as part of an action involving 247,000 vehicles using Takata airbags.

Takata’s defective airbags forced another automaker to recall additional vehicles today as Toyota announced it is recalling 247,000 vehicles with airbags that may rupture. The Japanese maker has already recalled more than 2.2 million vehicles for faulty Takata inflators.

This action follows a series of recalls by several automakers that used Takata’s airbags in their vehicles, including Chrysler, General Motors, Ford, Honda, BMW and others. In all, more than 16.5 million vehicles have been recalled since 2008 due to the faulty airbags, according to Bloomberg News.

Your Auto Safety News Source!

Toyota is recalling the 2002-05 Lexus SC, 2002-05 Toyota Sequoia, 2003-05 Toyota Tundra and 2003-05 Corolla and Corolla Matrix. (more…)