As part of the largest and most complex automotive recall in history, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced eight additional automakers are adding 12 million vehicles to the massive Takata airbag recall.
Last month, an estimated 35 to 40 million vehicles were included in the Takata airbag scandal with repairs to be implemented in phases beginning in May 2016.
To date, there have been 11 deaths internationally and 100 injuries attributed to defective Takata airbags. Two more Malaysian deaths are being investigated as they are thought to be linked to the unstable airbags.
Acceleration of Recall Repairs
The U.S. Department of Transportation is accelerating the recall due to the chemical instability of the faulty airbags and will prioritize risk when initiating its five recall phases, taking into account exposure of inflators to humidity and varying temperatures as well as the age of inflators.
Contributing factors to the dangerous airbag ruptures include time, moisture in the environment and fluctuating temperatures, according to the NHTSA and its expert who investigated the cause of the explosions.
The chemical, ammonium nitrate, in the faulty airbag inflators becomes unstable when exposed to high humidity and can deteriorate. With the deterioration, the chemical can explode more forcibly than usual and break the metal canister created to contain the explosion, sending dangerous metal shrapnel into vehicle compartments.
The NHTSA will consult with automakers and revise an order that mandates high risk vehicles receive replacement inflators first in an effort to prevent future fatalities. Because of a lack of available replacement parts, vehicle models age 2011 or older will receive priority then 2008 and older models in Southern states followed by 2004 and older models throughout the United States.
If you have been harmed by a faulty Takata airbag, contact the skilled defective product attorneys at Schmidt Kramer today. We can assist you by reviewing your claim and pursuing the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.