Takata adds 2.7M ve­hi­cles to airbag in­fla­tor re­call

The Hamilton Spectator - - HAMILTON BUSINESS - TOM KRISHER

DETROIT — Takata is adding 2.7 mil­lion ve­hi­cles from Ford, Nis­san and Mazda to the long list of those be­ing re­called to re­place po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous airbag inflators.

The inflators are a new type that pre­vi­ously was thought to be safe. Ve­hi­cles af­fected are from the 2005 through 2012 model years.

Takata inflators can ex­plode with too much force and spew shrap­nel into driv­ers and pas­sen­gers. At least 17 peo­ple have died and more than 180 in­jured due to the prob­lem. The inflators have caused the largest au­to­mo­tive re­call in U.S. his­tory with 42 mil­lion ve­hi­cles and up to 69 mil­lion inflators be­ing called back for re­pairs.

Takata uses the chem­i­cal am­mo­nium ni­trate to in­flate airbags. But it can de­te­ri­o­rate when ex­posed to high air­borne hu­mid­ity and high tem­per­a­tures. Pre­vi­ously, the com­pany be­lieved that a dry­ing agent called a de­sci­cant stopped the chem­i­cal from de­grad­ing and the inflators were safe.

But the Na­tional High­way Traf­fic Safety Administration says that tests done by Takata show that for the first time, a type of dessi­cated in­fla­tor “will pose a safety risk if not re­placed.” The agency says it has no re­ports of any inflators with the de­sci­cant rup­tur­ing.

Nis­san said the new re­call af­fects just over 515,000 Versa sub­com­pact hatch­back and sedans from the 2007 through 2012 model years. Mazda said its re­call cov­ers about 6,000 B-Se­ries trucks from 2007 through 2009. Ford, which has the most ve­hi­cles in­volved in the lat­est re­call, is re­view­ing the in­for­ma­tion and will file a list of mod­els within the five days re­quired by law.

NHTSA said in a state­ment that not all Takata inflators with a de­sci­cant are be­ing re­called. Takata used dif­fer­ent dry­ing agents in other inflators.

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