Posts Tagged ‘Airbag’

Airbag Manufacturer May File For Bankruptcy

Takata Airbags have been the center of a lot of recent attention due to the massive industry-wide recall that has occurred due to faulty airbag modules made by the company. Unfortunately, the extremely expensive recall has taken its toll on Takata, whom has privately announced that it will be seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection soon to help minimize the damages and loss of money. Takata has been forced to pay nearly one billion dollars in fines, penalties, and repayment to major automakers as a result of the recall. Industry experts estimate that Takata may have to be sold to another competitor after the bankruptcy takes place in order to keep its doors open, or risk going under due to their unpopularity after the recall. The result of the recall may mark the end of a once prominent Japanese company that was started over 85 years ago, as a textile manufacturing company that started out making parachutes for the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. The Takata airbags were recalled because of their potential to cause death or serious injury during deployment because the propellant used in the airbags became unstable over time when exposed to heat and humidity. The Takata airbags were responsible for about 17 deaths and numerous injuries as a result of the defective propellant. Of the one billion dollars paid during the recall, approximately $150 million was paid out to victims of injuries due to the defective airbags. More than one dozen automobile manufacturers have recalled vehicles with faulty Takata airbags, including Volkswagen, General Motors, and Toyota. The recall covers approximately 100 million airbag modules from Takata. One possible outcome of the bankruptcy would be the forced sale of Takata to a competitor. One such competitor, Key Safety Systems, owned by Chinese company Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corporation, has expressed some interest in purchasing Takata. Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corporation has the financial capacity to support Takata during the recall.   Taken from SFGate.com

Previously Recalled Vehicle Remedies Not Working

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the recall of more than 2.12 million Acura, Dodge, Jeep, Honda, Pontiac, and Toyota vehicles for a defect that may cause airbags to deploy inadvertently. The recalls will provide vehicle owners with a new remedy after the manufacturers’ original attempts to fix the defects proved ineffective in some vehicles. The new recalls cover 2.12 million Acura MDX, Dodge Viper, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, Honda Odyssey, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Matrix and Toyota Avalon models made in the early 2000’s. The vehicles were subject to earlier recalls to address a problem with an electronic component manufactured by TRW that caused some airbags to deploy inadvertently. NHTSA discovered through the monitoring of incoming data from consumers and automakers that some vehicles remedied under the previous recalls may have experienced inadvertent deployments. NHTSA urged all three automakers to issue new recalls to implement a more effective remedy. NHTSA has identified about 40 vehicles in which airbags deployed unexpectedly after receiving the original remedy. Action by consumers is especially important because about 1 million Toyota and Honda vehicles involved in these new recalls are also subject to a recall related to defective Takata airbags that may deploy with enough explosive force to cause injury or even death to vehicle occupants. Because of the dangers involved in an inadvertent deployment, and because some of the vehicles involved may also have defective Takata airbags, NHTSA urges consumers who were covered by the original recalls to take their vehicles to their local dealer for the original remedy. That remedy significantly reduces the chance of an airbag deployment that presents a safety risk. This is an urgent safety issue, and all consumers with vehicles covered by the previous recalls should have that remedy installed. Even though it’s a temporary solution until the new remedy is available, they and their families will be safer if they take the time to learn if their vehicle is covered and follow their manufacturers’ instructions. NHTSA will take a series of additional steps to ensure safety, including:
  • Seeking additional information from TRW, which made the electronic part believed to be involved in the inadvertent deployments, about the potential defect, its causes, and whether other makes or models might be affected.
  • Seeking information from the automakers about how quickly they can make the new, more effective remedy available.