Date
20 July 2017
Visitors walk by a Takata Corp. desk at a showroom in Tokyo. Carmakers on Thursday recalled more than four million additional vehicles with faulty air bags made by Takata. Photo: AP
Visitors walk by a Takata Corp. desk at a showroom in Tokyo. Carmakers on Thursday recalled more than four million additional vehicles with faulty air bags made by Takata. Photo: AP

Carmakers recall more vehicles with faulty Takata air bags

General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. have each recalled about 1.9 million vehicles due to defective air bags.

Volkswagen A.G., Jaguar-Land Rover, BMW A.G., Mercedes-Benz and Daimler Vans have recalled smaller numbers of vehicles.

The latest recalls affect front passenger side air bags that lack a drying agent to prevent moisture from building, which could case explosions, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing US filings.

The air bags use ammonium nitrate as a propellant, a chemical prone to destabilizing amid prolonged exposure to moisture and heat.

Air bags also become riskier as they age, officials have said.

All told, auto makers over the past week recalled more than 16 million vehicles with the air bags, which risk rupturing and spraying shrapnel.

The safety problem is linked to at least 11 deaths and more than 100 injuries world-wide.

Two additional fatalities in Malaysia have been tied to vehicles with ruptured air bags, though officials haven’t yet declared causes of death.

Additional recalls are expected in the months and years ahead.

The recalls are being carried out in stages, and US officials are prioritizing states with hot and humid climates where the air bags are more prone to ruptures.

The safety campaigns in the US are part of a massive expansion disclosed in May requiring auto makers to recall up to an additional 40 million air bags that risk exploding and sending metal shards flying in vehicle cabins.

Overall, nearly 70 million air bags are being recalled in the US alone.

The unprecedented automotive safety crisis has prompted congressional hearings, investigations and financial penalties for Takata.

A report from Senate Commerce Committee Democrats this week found some auto makers are equipping new vehicles with defective air bags.

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