e may be seeing the last of the series of recalls that have been launched in the last few years in connection with defective Takata airbags. A new recall has been issued that affects 10 million vehicles from 14 different manufacturers.
The latest recall is the last one agreed to as part of a deal negotiated with now-bankrupt airbag inflator manufacturer Takata in 2015. That company no longer exists, but its assets were bought by a company that today goes by the name Joyson Safety Systems.
What’s notable about this latest recall is that it involves replacing defective units that themselves had been installed in previous related recalls as temporary replacements for the original defective airbag inflators. That happened because Takata was understandably in a hurry to put out the fire of the airbag scandal by installing new units that actually had the same issue as the ones they were replacing, but wouldn’t be vulnerable to exploding in the first years of use. It’s called shoveling the problem forward.
Over time, however, and as exposure to heat and humidity wore down the apparatus, airbag inflators did become prone to exploding during impacts and sending shrapnel flying into the faces of occupants. In all 25 deaths around the world have been attributed to the problem, and vastly more injuries.
Today’s recall affectes vehicles made by 14 different automakers, including Honda, FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles), Ford, General Motors, Mitsubishi, Mada, Nissan and BMW. Some manufacturers have already issued their own recalls, for instance Subaru which has called back 500,000 2003-2014 Forester, Baja, Impreza, WRX, Legacy and Outback models.
The manufacturers will be announcing which of their models are affected by the new recall over the next few weeks. Owners can visit the website of the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Association) and enter in their vehicle’s VIN number to see if their vehicle is affected.
Since the Takata airbag-inflator scandal first erupted, around 34,6 million airbags have been replaced, but it’s estimated there are still 12.8 million defective units sitting inside vehicles still in circulation.