Takata Admits To Faulty Airbags As Recall Becomes The Biggest In History Photo:

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Trevor Collett | May, 20 2015 | 2 Comments

Australia has seen three wide-reaching airbag recalls in the past week, and now the manufacturer has finally admitted that its product is faulty.

Japanese parts supplier Takata has agreed to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) request in the US to effectively double the number of vehicles recalled worldwide over the issue.

This will see a total of nearly 34 million cars recalled across the globe, with 17 million recalled for driver’s airbags and 16 million for passenger airbags.

In Australia alone, nearly 300,000 Nissans and Toyotas were recalled last week, and 130,000 Hondas were recalled this week.

And that’s on top of previous Takata airbag recalls in Australia stretching back beyond 12 months.

The issue, as it has always been, is the airbag inflator assemblies, which can fracture as the airbag deploys causing potentially lethal fragments to strike the vehicle’s occupants.

To date, at least six deaths have been linked to the faulty inflators.

With the latest expansion, the Takata recall is now the biggest the world has seen, surpassing the Tylenol recall in the US which saw over 31 million product examples affected in the 1980s.

Carmakers and authorities now face the enormous task of prioritising vehicles to be serviced under the recall based on age and whether they have been exposed to high-moisture climates - as water appears to accelerate the decay of the inflator.

Parts availability will be the major hurdle, as the manufacture of tens of millions of new inflators - while already underway - will understandably take considerable time.

Takata has been somewhat quiet on the airbag issue since it came to light, but now looks likely to face questioning at the very least as to its awareness of the issue and the haste with which it reacted.

Earlier reports suggest Takata covered up test results which indicated the airbags were faulty, and a former company engineer reportedly said he was willing to testify against Takata in court.

MORE: Nissan Micra Joins Takata Airbag List
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Takata | Recalls | NHTSA

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