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Takata Airbag Recall Continues to Grow

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Last month, several automakers begrudgingly expanded recalls of vehicles equipped with Takata brand airbags.  With Chrysler and BMW recently announcing the wider scope of affected vehicles, the airbag saga has grown from a warm-weather problem to a major global issue.  The infamous defect is allegedly responsible for 5 deaths so far.

Multiple Makes and Models Affected

Unlike the GM ignition-switch recall, the Takata airbag recall affects numerous different makes and models.  At least 10 different manufacturers are involved, with vehicles years ranging from 2000 to 2011.  The Japanese auto-parts supplier provides safety equipment, including airbags and seatbelts, to carmakers across the world.  Due to manufacturing delays, replacements for recalled vehicles could be weeks or months away.

Deadly Shrapnel

In order to function properly and keep occupants safe, airbags must inflate extremely quickly.  In the affected Takata airbags, years of hot and humid conditions have caused deterioration of some of the airbag components.  If those units are compromised and the airbag needs to inflate explosively, metal shards can be blown out of the module and cause serious injuries to occupants of the vehicle.