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© ginasanders dreamstime.com Electronics Production | May 06, 2016

Takata recalls 40 million airbag inflators

Takata Corporation, a supplier of automotive safety systems, is via its subsidiary, TK Holdings, recalling all non-desiccated frontal airbag inflators containing phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate (PSAN) in the US.
The new recall refers to airbag inflators that are not covered by previous recalls. In a statement the company says that it is not aware of any ruptures – in the field or in testing – in the inflator products in would be covered by this new order. Nonetheless, the company has agreed to accept and support the expanded recalls respecting Takata’s and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) shared interest towards future safety and restoring public confidence.

Research and analysis by several independent engineering organizations has supported Takata’s previous findings that certain inflator ruptures are caused by a combination of long-term exposure to high heat, absolute humidity and temperature cycling. With these expanded recalls, all non-desiccated frontal inflators will be under recall in the US. The vast majority of the frontal inflators Takata produces today contain desiccant, a drying agent that acts as a mitigant against these environmental effects. Manufacturing variability may also pay a role in the inflator failures, and certain vehicle models have been shown to have a much higher incident rate than others.

Takata will be filing Defect Information Reports (DIRs) for all non-desiccated frontal airbag inflators not currently under recall in five stages, according to model years and the geographic regions where the vehicles are registered, focusing first on older vehicles in regions of high heat and absolute humidity.

Takata estimates that there will be approximately 35 – 40 million airbag inflators covered by these new DIRs, primarily passenger-side inflators. Almost all driver-side non-desiccated frontal airbag inflators are already under recall. The first DIR, which will be filed on May 16, 2016, will cover approximately 14 million inflators. The expanded recalls also include certain non-desiccated frontal airbag inflators which have been provided as replacement parts in the past.

Takata has been in close consultation with NHTSA regarding the severe challenges it will face in supplying replacement parts for the expanded recalls. It has been determined that such issues will be further discussed and resolved through the Coordinated Remedy Program together with NHTSA and the vehicle manufacturers.

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