Japanese manufacturer Takata could be forced to expand its recall campaign to fix defective airbags, according to a report by The Detroit Bureau.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said last month it was investigating a Takata airbag explosion in a 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan. The German automaker said the incident was unrelated to the initial Takata problem because it was a side-impact airbag.
Still, the NHTSA last week sent letters to seven automakers including Volkswagen AG, Tesla Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar Land Rover, Suzuki, Volvo Trucks, and Spartan Motors, asking questions about the Takata inflators they use. More specifically, they wanted to know how many vehicles have Takata airbag inflators, and whether they are considering recalls.
So far, nearly 25 million vehicles worldwide have been recalled, but it’s now expected that number will increase exponentially. The original 10 companies involved in the recall last year included Ford, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, NV, Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru. An 11th maker, Daimler Trucks North America, was added this year.
Faulty Takata airbags have killed eight people and injured another 100 to this day. They deploy with too much force and explode, sending metallic shrapnel right in the face or chest of the driver and front passenger.
Other than Takata, these past few days have been tough for the auto industry, led by Volkswagen’s Dieselgate, GM’s faulty ignition switch fiasco, and FCA’s failure to report deaths and injuries that led to recalls.