Monday, June 08, 2015

AUTO RECALL - My Airbag is Being Recalled, Now What?

"Massive airbag recall could take months to notify owners, years to fix" PBS NewsHour 6/2/2015

IMO:  The U.S. Congress today wants companies to continue to put our lives at risk for profit.  That's what big money can buy.


SUMMARY:  The largest auto recall in U.S. history has affected 11 major auto companies, 34 million vehicles and dozens of models.  It could take the manufacturer Takata two years to make all the replacements.  So what’s an owner of one of these vehicles to do?  Gwen Ifill talks to David Shepardson of The Detroit News to get insight on Takata’s plan to serve this massive recall.

GWEN IFILL (NewsHour):  Millions of car owners face a dilemma.  There’s a nationwide recall for defective air bags affecting vehicles made by most of the major auto manufacturers.  But a bigger recall may also mean a longer wait for repair.

That was just one of several issues lawmakers laid at the doorstep today of the Takata Corporation, the air bag manufacturer.  It’s now the largest auto safety recall in U.S. history, nearly 34 million vehicles.  And, today, Takata was called before Congress again.

Executive vice president Kevin Kennedy:

KEVIN KENNEDY, Executive Vice President, Takata:  It is unacceptable to us for even one of our products to fail to perform as intended.

GWEN IFILL:  Over time, chemical inflators in Takata air bags have exploded with so much force that they spray metal fragments.  The problem is linked to six deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide since 2003.

KEVIN KENNEDY:  We deeply regret each instance in which someone has been injured or killed.  We’re committed to doing everything in our power to address the safety concerns raised by air bag ruptures.

GWEN IFILL:  Kennedy said Takata now plans to change the design of its driver-side air bags.  But lawmakers worried about how long it will take.  Republican Congressman Fred Upton pressed Mark Rosekind, head of the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.

REP. FRED UPTON, R-Mich.:  What is the goal, the timetable for completely resolving the issue, being able to identify which vehicles have these defective air bags, getting them replaced, making sure the owners are there?  What’s your hopeful time frame for this to be resolved and we can move to the next issue?

MARK ROSEKIND, Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:  At this point, I believe if anybody gave you a number, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

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