While car enthusiasts have been aware of the whole Takata scandal for some time, the issue has become big in the mainstream news lately. The reason is that the Japanese parts supplier is recalling 33.8 million vehicles that use its airbags, which is being called the largest consumer product recall in US history.
The recall is incredibly serious. Defective airbag inflators can go off randomly and shrapnel. When this happens, the shrapnel actually rips through the airbags and hits the driver or front passenger. In at least one case, first responders thought a victim had been viciously stabbed by someone, only learning later that it was the airbags that were responsible for the extensive injuries. So far, six deaths have been tied to the Takata bags, plus over 100 injuries.
More bad news has been coming out, including the shocking revelation that Takata was aware of the airbag inflator problems back in 2008. Reportedly, the company redesigned the airbags as a way to control potential risks
Even though Takata is a Japanese company, a wide variety of car brands are part of the massive recall. They include Honda, BMW, Toyota, Subaru, Chrysler, General Motors, Nissan and numerous others. Honda started recalling affected vehicles back in 2008
Takata still isn’t entirely sure what’s triggering the airbag inflators. It’s related to moisture, which is why the recall originally was for vehicles used in high humidity areas of the US. Bloomberg says that Takata didn’t want to do a nationwide recall, but caved to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) insistence that the effort be expanded to include the entire country.
Despite the problems, Takata claims that its current products are safe, thanks to the changes made back in 2008.