Why investigators are still investigating the inflators of Takata airbags by Reuters

ছবি Reuters file photo: July 20, 2017 A withdrawn takata airbag inflator was spotted just before being removed from a jeep in Boulder, Colorado, USA. Router / Rick Wilking

By David Shepardsson and Paul Leonart

(Reuters) – Why are US auto safety regulators launching new investigations into the Takata airbag inflators on millions of vehicles built in the last 20 years?

Some of those vehicles have original inflators that were installed when they were made, and some have inflators installed as a replacement for previously recalled vehicles. In some situations, mainly in prolonged exposure to extreme heat and humidity, those bulges can burst unexpectedly, scattering metal through the cabin of the car, causing injury and death.

What is an “inflator”?

An airbag inflator is a small explosive device designed to ignite in a split second in a vehicle accident, then quickly fill a large cushion with inert gas and help protect occupants from serious injury.

The family-run Japanese company Takata, now controlled by China’s Jason Electronic Corporation, began supplying airbags to auto companies around the world in the late 1980s.

Takata Inflators, made in the late 180’s, uses a powerful chemical, ammonium nitrate, as a propellant. When that chemical comes in contact with moisture and heat for a long time, it breaks down and becomes volatile and potentially explosive.

When did you know the money?

Takata first learned of the ruptured cracks in 2003. Some of the company’s managers later found out about the extra swollen cracks. The information in some of the test reports was altered by Takaata employees so that it could be hidden from Takaata Automaker customers.

The first taka withdrawal of Tak, 000 Honda Accords and Civics was announced in 2008. For the next five years Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor (NYSE 🙂 Corp., Nissan (OTC 🙂 Motor Co., Mazda Motor (OTC 🙂 Corp. and BMW AG have withdrawn nearly 4 million U.S. vehicles due to bloating, totaling more than 10 million in 2014 and finally 67 million in 2016. .

Takata applied for bankruptcy protection in the United States and Japan in 2017.

Over the past decade, more than 100 million vehicles have been recalled worldwide, including the Takata Airbag Inflator. Of the U.S. withdrawals, about 50 million have been repaired or replaced.

At least two deaths have been reported worldwide, including one in the United States and more than 40,000 injured due to faulty inflation.

The latest investigation

To help alleviate the problem with ammonium nitrate, Takata agreed in 2015 to start construction of the original equipment and replacement inflators with the help of a drying agent called Desicant to absorb excess moisture.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said there were no cracks in the airbag inflators with dry agents on vehicles on the road.

The company said in September 2021 that it “wants to assess future risks” made with desiccants and placed between vehicles that have not been recalled.

In the new investigation, Honda, Ford Motor (NYSE 🙂 Co, Toyota, General Motors Co (NYSE :), Nissan, Subaru (OTC :), Tesla (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc, Ferrari NV (NYSE :), Mazda, Daimler AG (DE :), BMW, Chrysler (now part of Stellantis NV), Porsche Cars and Jaguar Land Rover (owned by Tata Motors (NYSE :)), among others.

The NHTSA said its investigation would require “extensive information on the money production process and the survey of field swells.”

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