Airbag apocalypse: Takata recall leaps to 34 million

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Airbag apocalypse: Takata recall leaps to 34 million

Michael James

A massive airbag recall affects 34 million vehicles.

Takata, the Japanese airbag supplier, has jolted the automotive industry with its announcement Tuesday that 34 million vehicles from 10 manufacturers were equipped with defective inflator mechanisms.

The total is double the previously released total, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The recall is believed to be the largest in NHTSA’s history.

Under an agreement, NHTSA issued what’s called a consent order to Takata. It requires the company to cooperate fully with the agency’s investigation. NHTSA also announced it will begin a formal legal process “to organize and prioritize the replacement of defective Takata inflators under the agency’s legal authority.”

The problem: Takata airbags can potentially explode, sending metal shards flying into the passenger compartment. The airbags have been linked to six deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide.

A massive airbag recall by Takata affects 34 million vehicles.
A massive airbag recall by Takata affects 34 million vehicles.

The issue has prompting lawsuits and a criminal inquiry in the U.S. It’s unclear what causes the inflators to malfunction.
The recall affects 10 manufacturers in the United States: BME AG, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Honda Motor Co., Mazda Motor Co., Mitsubishi, Nissan Motor Co., Subaru Motors USA and Toyota Motor Corp.

A NHTSA statement said “these inflators were made with a propellant that can degrade over time and has led to ruptures.”
Here’s the list (so far) of the affected vehicles, listed by manufacturer:

AFFECTED VEHICLES (total number if known in parentheses):

Acura: 2002–2003 TL; 2002 CL; 2003–2006 MDX; 2005 Acura RL

BMW (approximately 765,000): 2000–2005 3-series sedan and wagon; 2000–2006 3-series coupe and convertible; 2001–2006 M3 coupe and convertible

Chrysler (approximately 2.88 million, including Dodge): 2004–2008 Chrysler 300; 2007–2008 Aspen
Dodge/Ram (approximately 2.88 million, including Chrysler): 2003–2008 Dodge Ram 1500; 2004–2008 Ram 2500, Dakota, and Durango; 2004–2007 Charger; 2004–2008 Ram 3500 and 4500; 2008 Ram 5500

Ford (538,977): 2004–2005 Ranger; 2005–2006 GT; 2005–2008 Mustang

Honda (approximately 5.5 million, including Acura): 2001–2007 Accord (four-cylinder); 2001–2002 Accord (V-6); 2001–2005 Civic; 2002–2006 CR-V; 2002–2004 Odyssey; 2003–2011 Element; 2003–2008 Pilot; 2006 Ridgeline

Infiniti: 2001–2004 Infiniti I30/I35; 2002–2003 Infiniti QX4; 2003–2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45; 2006 Infiniti M35/M45
Lexus: 2002–2007 SC430

Mazda (330,000, est): 2004–2008 Mazda 6; 2006–2007 Mazdaspeed 6; 2004–2008 Mazda RX-8; 2004–2005 MPV; 2004 B-series

Mitsubishi (11,985): 2004–2005 Lancer; 2006–2007 Raider

Nissan (approximately 1,091,000, including Infiniti): 2001–2003 Maxima; 2001–2004 Pathfinder; 2002–2006 Nissan Sentra
Pontiac: 2003–2005 Vibe

Saab: 2005 9-2X

Subaru (17,516): 2003–2005 Baja, Legacy, Outback; 2004–2005 Impreza, Impreza WRX, Impreza WRX STI

Toyota (approximately 1,514,000, including Lexus and Pontiac Vibe): 2002–2007 Toyota Corolla and Sequoia; 2003–2007 Matrix; 2003–2006 Tundra; 2004–2005 RAV4

Article Last Updated: May 19, 2015.

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