After months of pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Takata conceded yesterday that 33.8 million air bags are defective, a number that doubles the original tally of recalled vehicles in the U.S.
According to The New York Times, vehicles affected by the Takata recall now make up about one in seven on U.S. roads.
The announcement comes after Takata announced that they would enter into a Consent Order with the NHTSA. Under the Consent Order, Takata has filed Defect Information Reports and has agreed to address safety concerns and cooperate with regulatory actions.
The NHTSA has been pursuing Takata’s cooperation with little success until now. According to The Associated Press, “For the most part, the air bag maker refused to declare the inflators defective and even questioned the agency's authority to order it to conduct a recall.”
The recalls have been pouring in since Nov 2008 with no sign of letting up — just last week, Honda, Toyota and Nissan added about a third of the total to the list. The AP reported that the NHTSA guessed the number would continue to rise.
The recall isn’t just massive in numbers; the air bags are linked to six deaths and over 100 injuries worldwide. The air bag inflator’s propellant degrades over time, which can cause the air bag to explode and send metal shrapnel into the cabin.
Mark Rosekind, the head of the NHTSA, said, “This is probably the most complex consumer safety recall in U.S. history.”
Have you been affected by the Takata recall? Do you think their cooperation with federal agencies will expedite the repair process? Comment below or tweet @MNetBridget.