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Truck Carrying Takata Airbags Explodes, Killing One, Injuring Four

Supplier’s inflators already blamed for 14 deaths.

by on Aug.29, 2016

A drone image shows the scene of a Takata truck explosion. Photo courtesy

A 69-year-old woman was killed as the result of a crash and subsequent explosion involving a truck carrying airbag inflators and the explosive ammonium nitrate used in those devices that was bound for a Takata Corp. warehouse in Eagle Pass, Texas.

Takata is the Japanese airbag supplier whose faulty inflators have so far been blamed for at least 14 deaths worldwide. That has triggered the recall of about 50 million inflators in the U.S. and more than 100 million worldwide.

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The incident occurred last week on U.S. Highway 277 not far from the Southern Texas Takata plant when the truck, operated by a contractor, was involved in a crash. The driver, 20-year-old Mario Alberto Rodriguez, and a passenger were able to escape before the vehicle caught fire and exploded. But the inferno that touched off damaged or destroyed a number of nearby homes, including one in which victim Lucila Robles was living.


Toyota Tells Dealers Not to Hide Future Takata Recalls

Several makers continue using defective airbags due to shortage of new inflators.

by on Jun.13, 2016

The Toyota 4Runner is one of the models the maker builds still using the suspect Takata airbags.

Stung by critics who revealed it is still using potentially defective Takata airbags in some of its new products, Toyota has told U.S. dealers they must disclose to buyers which vehicles will be subject to recall by 2018.

At least four automakers have continued using Takata inflators in some of their vehicles because of a shortage of new airbags using a safer design. The shortage has created a major problem for the industry, delaying repairs and forcing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to announce a phased recall of additional Takata airbags.

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Senator Bill Nelson, the Florida Democrat who disclosed the problem last month, has been urging automakers, at the least, to disclose when they sell vehicles that will ultimately be subject to a known recall over the next two years.


Seven Automakers Add 4.4 Mil Vehicles to Takata Recall

Figure likely to grow by millions more.

by on Jun.02, 2016

A 2007 Chevrolet Suburban, one of the GM sport-ute models targeted by the latest recall.

Already the largest safety campaign in automotive history, seven automakers have added another 4.4 million vehicles to the list of cars, trucks and crossovers recalled due to defective Takata airbags.

Since mid-May, the figure has grown by more than 16 million vehicles, and that’s on top of the 24 million covered by a recall ordered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last autumn. And since NHTSA plans a phased campaign, millions more Takata airbags are expected to be recalled over the next two years.

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The latest move impacts BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen. But virtually every major automaker, and even smaller ones like Ferrari, have been touched by the ongoing crisis caused by airbags that can explode with deadly force. Of the makers involved in the latest action, GM has the largest numbers of vehicles impacted, about 1.9 million.


Automakers Continue to Install Defective Takata Airbags on New Vehicles

And 2.1 mil defective inflators have been installed as replacements in older vehicles.

by on Jun.01, 2016

A Takata airbag after a crash.

(This story has been revised to include comments by FCA and Toyota.)

Even as federal safety regulators expand the ongoing recall of defective Takata airbags, four major automakers continue to install some of the potentially deadly devices on their newest vehicles, according to a new Senate report.

A number of manufacturers also are using defective Takata inflators as replacements for older airbags in about 2.1 million recalled vehicles. Federal regulators have approved that move as a temporary measure due to a shortage of replacements parts using newer, safer designs.

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The four manufacturers that acknowledge they are continuing to use defective Takata bags in new products are Fiat Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Volkswagen, according to the report released today by U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee.


Increasingly Desperate Takata Seeking Financial Bailout

Japanese airbag supplier planning to restructure, find new investors.

by on May.26, 2016

NHTSA recently added 40 million airbags to the recall.

Blamed for the largest safety recall in automotive history and facing potentially billions of dollars in legal and repair costs, embattled Japanese supplier Takata is reportedly exploring ways to restructure and bring in new investors.

Industry sources say that without new funding, Takata may no longer be viable. That could leave customers ranging such as General Motors, Daimler and Toyota stuck with the entire bill for replacing tens of millions of faulty airbags. It could also force nearly 20 manufacturers who have used Takata’s suspect airbag inflators to go searching for new sources of replacement parts.

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“The committee strongly believes that it is in the best interests of all Takata stakeholders for Takata and its automotive customers to reach a consensual resolution that addresses the costs of the inflator issues while enabling Takata to remain a viable and valued global supplier to the automotive industry,” Hideaki Sudo, a lawyer in Tokyo heading Takata’s new steering committee, said in a statement.


Honda May Recall 20 Million More Airbags; Supplier Takata Plunges into the Red

Size of airbag recall could more than double.

by on May.09, 2016

A Takata airbag after a vehicle crash.

Honda is reportedly getting ready to announce the recall of as many as 20 million more airbags due to the risk they could malfunction and injure, possibly kill occupants by sending shrapnel flying into the passenger compartment.

The report, published by Japanese newspaper Nikkei, comes less than a week after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered the recall of 35 million to 40 million more airbags using inflators provided by Japanese auto supplier Takata. The defect has so far been linked to hundreds of injuries while the death count last week rose to 13 worldwide.

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Hammered by the recall, hit with hefty fines and facing numerous lawsuits, Takata said today that it is expecting to report a loss of about $120 million when it reports earnings on Wednesday. It originally had expected to show a modest profit.


Feds May Recall Up to 85 Million More Takata Airbags

Cost could balloon to $3.5 billion.

by on Apr.14, 2016

17-year-old Huma Hanif was killed when the Takata airbag in her Honda malfunctioned. Courtesy: WHOU.

The number of vehicles facing recall due to potentially defective Takata airbags continues to grow – as does the possible bill for replacing the faulty safety systems.

So far, about 24 million vehicles sold in the U.S. have been recalled as a result of the problem which has been linked to 11 deaths, including a 17-year Texas girl killed in a March 31 crash. But an analysis by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns that as many as 85 million additional airbag inflators might be defective.

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Because many vehicles use multiple Takata inflators, the exact number of cars, trucks and crossovers that would be affected is not clear. But it is likely to be significantly larger than the number of vehicles already affected by the current Takata recall.


Teen Killed by Exploding Takata Airbag

Family hadn't responded to recall of older Honda.

by on Apr.07, 2016

So far, about 24 million vehicles using Takata airbags have been recalled in the U.S.

A 17-year-old girl driving a car near Houston was killed when the airbag in her 2002 Honda Civic malfunctioned during a crash, the latest in a series of 11 deaths now linked to faulty airbag inflators provided by Japanese supplier Takata.

The defect, which has also been linked to more than 100 injuries, has triggered the largest recall in U.S. automotive history, 14 automakers now calling back 24 million vehicles to replace Takata inflators. There has been growing pressure to expand that recall to cover millions more vehicles considered potentially at risk.

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The Richmond, Texas girl’s vehicle had already been subject to recall, though repairs had been made. That is likely to escalate pressure on both Takata and the carmakers that have used its airbag systems to increase efforts to reach owners of the affected vehicles. Federal data show that only about 27% of the vehicles covered by the Takata recall have so far been fixed.


Another 50 Million Vehicles Could be Recalled Due to Faulty Takata Airbags

Inflator problems could be far more widespread than initially expected.

by on Feb.17, 2016

So far, about 24 million vehicles using Takata airbags have been recalled in the U.S.

In recent weeks, a long list of automakers, including Volkswagen, General Motors and Honda, have added millions to the list of vehicles recalled due to faulty Takata airbags. So far, a defect blamed for at least 11 deaths has affected about 24 million cars, trucks and crossovers.

But that number could triple. As many as 50 million other vehicles are equipped with airbag inflators supplied by Takata, and a number of lawmakers, regulators and safety experts are pressing to have them recalled, as well.

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Where the Takata problem was originally thought to be caused by a manufacturing defect and limited to vehicles used in regions, like Florida, with high humidity, there’s growing concern that the basic chemistry used by Takata is flawed and, as a result, any vehicle using the Japanese supplier’s inflators, are increasingly at risk as they age.


GM Recalling 200,000 Old Saturns and Saabs for Takata Problem

Even dead brands impacted by airbag issue.

by on Feb.16, 2016

Saab may be gone, but its airbag problems live on, thanks to Takata.

General Motors sold or discontinued the Saab and Saturn brands years ago but it said this week it is stepping in to recall about 200,000 vehicles sold by its former brands as part of a wider recall of million of autos with potentially defective air bag inflators made by Takata Corp.

A total of 180,000 of the Saab and Saturn vehicles were sold in the United States and another 20,000 in Canada, GM said Tuesday.

It's in the Bag!

The announcement comes just days after Volkswagen recalled 800,000 vehicles due to the latest Takata problem. In all, six automakers have been impacted by the widening problem. Before the latest series of service actions, nearly 20 million vehicles using the Japanese suppliers airbag inflators had been affected.