Recall will be conducted in five phases based on prioritization of risk.

The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration has announced plans to significantly expand and accelerate the recall of Takata airbag inflators in the United States.

As part of an Amended Consent Order that was recently issued to Takata, the supplier will be forced to recall an additional 35-40 million airbag inflators on top of the 28.8 million inflators that have already been recalled. The massive recall targets all driver and passenger front air bag inflators which have an ammonium nitrate-based propellant and no chemical drying agent. 

The agency decided this was necessary after it determined moisture was one of the root causes of the defective airbags. As a result, the lack of a chemical drying agent significantly increases the chances the airbags could rupture.

The sheer number of defective airbag inflators means the recall process will be conducted in five phases based on the prioritization of risk. The recall will start later this month and is expected to continue until December of 2019.

In a statement, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said “Today’s action is a significant step in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s aggressive oversight of Takata on behalf of drivers and passengers across America." He added, "The acceleration of this recall is based on scientific evidence and will protect all Americans from air bag inflators that may become unsafe.”

Takata inflators have been tied to ten deaths and more than 100 injuries in the United States alone.

Source: National Traffic Highway Safety Administration

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