Airbags are now a main concern for top automakers. On Monday, Honda Motor and other automakers recalled nearly three million cars that had faulty airbags.
Takata Corporation supplied the airbags and the recent recall increases the total recalls to around 10.5 million vehicles in the last five years.
Last year, BMW recalled 3.6 million cars for having faulty airbags. Toyota did the same a few weeks ago when they recalled 2.3 million vehicles for the same reason.
Other car manufacturers who had to recall their vehicles because of faulty airbags include Chrysler, Ford, Mazda, and Nissan. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation after they received three reports of injuries that were caused by rupturing airbags.
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One of the victims of faulty airbags is Kristy Williams. In 2010, the airbag on her Honda Civic suddenly deployed and she was hit with metal shards from the canister. A few shards punctured her carotid artery.
Williams had to undergo many medical operations and suffered strokes and seizures. Honda compensated Williams and the company admitted that the accident was caused by the defective airbags manufactured by Takata.
On Monday, Takata said in a statement that the defect might be caused by moisture seeping inside the inflators, which cause the propellant inside to destabilize.
Takata’s Chief Operating Officer Stefan Stocker and Chief Executive Officer Shigehisa Takada said that they are working with carmakers and safety regulators in order to improve their quality control. “We will aim to further strengthen our quality control system and work united as a company to prevent problems from happening again,” they said.
Takata started making airbags in 1988 at about the time when American regulators started to require them in vehicles. They own 20 percent of the airbag market – with TRW Automotive owning 20 percent and Autoliv owning 35 percent.
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