Japanese Automaker Takata has identified the defective airbags to have been manufactured from 2008 to 2014. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a report to this effect.
More than 17 million vehicles have been recalled due to defective air bags made by Takata. The report details the defects and the manufacturing dates of the air bags from Takata’s plants in Monclova, Mexico.
Meanwhile Toyota has released an advisory to more than 875,000 US drivers not to seat anyone in the passenger front seats of certain models.
Manufacturing problems with Takata Corp air bags go much beyond what the company has disclosed to US safety regulators. According to Reuters it had reviewed dozens of internal Takata engineering reports, presentations and copies of emails which reveals that the company has struggled to meet its own safety standards in manufacturing air bag inflators for a decade until 2011.
It is to the credit of Takata that it has cooperated with the investigation begun in June by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) whether there was some problem with the inflator, the device which inflates the air bag in a fraction of a second. The NHTSA was looking particularly at the Takata air bag inflators which were manufactured between 2000 and 2007 to negate the possibility of them being improperly sealed, a flaw that could expose the explosive material inside and cause the air bag to blow apart in an accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also ordered a recall of some Honda, Nissan, BMW, Buick, and Chevrolet vehicles in southern Florida and the Gulf Coast, where humidity is high.
Ever since the start of the investigation, Takata was asked to make replacements for the air bags. Wall Street Journal reports that the company has committed to open new lines of production to comply with the orders as early as next year.
Takata wrote to the agency, “We will evaluate if their quality argument is valid. We are also reaching out to other suppliers and manufacturers to discuss the potential and risks of having those suppliers provide replacement air bags.”