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Defective Takata airbags still being installed in new cars

Posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2016   

Despite the fact that they will need to be recalled eventually, there are at least four carmakers—Volkswagen, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Fiat Chrysler—that will continue to install defective Takata airbags into new vehicles, according to a report released by a Senate Commerce Committee.  As reported by The New York Times, the report indicates that some vehicles that have been recalled for their defective airbags have been receiving airbags that are defective and which will need to be subject to another recall down the line.

As of now, regulators do not require automakers to tell people who buy new cars that they their vehicle has been equipped with a defective Takata airbag.  Since these airbags are not thought to pose an immediate threat—they only become defective after a certain period of time—regulators have allowed the continued use of Takata airbags in new and recalled vehicles. However, these newly-installed Takata airbags will still need to be recalled at a later date.

Considering that 60 million vehicles have already been recalled to fix the defective airbags, Karl Brauer, a senior analyst for Kelly Blue Book, noted that it has been difficult for automakers to find alternate airbag suppliers.  Nonetheless, Brauer believes that regulators should require carmakers to at least disclose which models have been installed with a defective airbag that will eventually need to be replaced.

When it does come time to begin recalling these newly-installed airbags, automakers will begin contacting owners in the first quarter of 2017 so that their airbags may be replaced with a non-Takata inflator.

 

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