Monday, September 15, 2014

AUTOMAKERS - Recall of 14 Milion for Exploding Airbags

"Automakers recall 14 million cars for exploding airbags" PBS NewsHour 9/12/2014


JEFFREY BROWN (NewsHour):  As with GM, the problems may date back a decade or more.  In this case, it’s the rupturing or explosion of air bags that injured drivers and are linked with two deaths.  The air bags are supplied by Takata Corporation.  Which makes them for automakers around the world.

Honda first began recalling a few thousand as early as 2009.  This year, recalls related to the air bags have grown dramatically and now exceed 14 million overall, six million of them by Honda, while Toyota, BMW, and Nissan have also recalled large numbers of cars.

David Shepardson of The Detroit News joins us once again.

Welcome back, David.

First, remind us what the problem is with the air bags.

DAVID SHEPARDSON, The Detroit News:  Sure.

These are air bags that are deploying in a frontal crash . And rather than just getting the pillow you see in a standard air bag, they are rupturing because of the high force, and in some cases sending shrapnel or pieces of metal, and causing serious injuries and, as you said, reports of two deaths.

JEFFREY BROWN:  As we reported here, it was found first a long time ago.  It has taken a long time to get to this number of recalls.  What’s — kind of quickly bring us up to date.  What’s been happening in that area?

DAVID SHEPARDSON:  Well, it’s been a real puzzle both for Honda and for regulators, in part because you had two different plants, one in Mexico, one in Washington State, that had two different issues with these air bag inflators that prompted, you know, starting with Honda to recall these vehicles.

Then it grew to almost a dozen worldwide.  In fact, the government is still deciding whether the recalls that have been done so far are enough.  And there may — still may be more vehicles to be recalled.  And that goes to the issue of, is — it’s hard to figure out exactly how many vehicles and which specific air bags should be covered by this.

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