Air-bag re­calls to cover 42M cars when fin­ished

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By The As­so­ci­ated Press

detroit» The U.S. gov­ern­ment says au­tomak­ers will end up re­call­ing 42 mil­lion ve­hi­cles with po­ten­tially deadly air bag in­fla­tors made by Takata Corp.

The Na­tional High­way Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion re­leased a sched­ule for fur­ther re­calls on Fri­day as it tries to get au­tomak­ers to move faster on the fixes.

Even­tu­ally, about 69 mil­lion in­fla­tors that po­ten­tially can ex­plode with too much force and spew shrap­nel into peo­ple will be re­called. Some cars will have the driver side and pas­sen­ger side air bags re­placed.

As of last week, only 12.5 mil­lion, or about 18 per­cent, of the in­fla­tors had been re­placed, and NHTSA said some au­tomak­ers weren’t do­ing enough to con­tact own­ers. The agency or­dered the com­pa­nies to sub­mit a “re­call en­gage­ment plan” within 90 days to in­crease the com­ple­tion rate.

Own­ers can go to the Safer­Car web­site to learn if their ve­hi­cle is part of the re­call: vin­rcl.safer­car.gov/vin.

Eleven peo­ple have been killed by Takata in­fla­tors in the U.S. and as many as 16 world­wide. The gov­ern­ment says 180 peo­ple have been hurt in the U.S. alone.

Re­calls are be­ing phased in through the end of 2020. NHTSA added McLaren to the list of af­fected au­tomak­ers, bring­ing the to­tal to 19.

NHTSA of­fi­cials said the re­calls have been pro­ceed­ing slowly in part be­cause of a lack of avail­abil­ity of parts. Dif­fer­ent cars need dif­fer­ent air bag in­fla­tors, so it’s not al­ways easy to snap new parts into place.

The agency says some con­sumers also haven’t got­ten re­pairs even though parts are avail­able. The agency is urg­ing any­one who gets a re­call no­tice to con­tact a dealer and get their ve­hi­cle re­paired as quickly as pos­si­ble.

Nor­mally, around 70 per­cent of con­sumers com­plete re­call re­pairs, the agency said. In this case, NHTSA wants the re­call re­pair rate to achieve 100 per­cent.

A de­ployed airbag is seen in a 2001 Honda Ac­cord at a sal­vage yard in 2015. Getty Images

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