Airbag manufacturer Takata Corp. discovered a defect in its airbags that caused General Motors and Nissan to recall some near 31,000 cars in June: a driver-side airbag inflator that has been known to explode in vehicles. Brandi Owens served as a victim due to an incorrect baffle installation in her vehicle that caused her blindness in one eye. She filed a lawsuit against both Takata Corp. and General Motors in April 2014 for her October 2013 accident.
While the General Motor and Nissan cars containing the airbag defect have been found to stretch from 2013 to 2014, Takata Corp. found other disturbing news that the company reported in its latest letter: the problems with the company’s airbags stretch back as far as 2008. 10 manufacturers have all recalled vehicles containing the Takata airbags due to manufacturing and defect flaws that could cause the bags to explode and send metal shards flying and hurt drivers. The airbag inflators have been manufactured at Takata’s Mexico Monclavo manufacturing plant.
The recalls have forced Takata to increase production in order to supply replacement parts for owners whose vehicles match the 2008-2014 time length in which the defective airbags were manufactured under company supervision. In addition, places with hot climates (Puerto Rico and Florida, for example) have seen many Takata airbags recalled in those places because high temperatures could lead to unexpected airbag eruptions.
The NHTSA, with its suspicion of Takata’s 2000-20007 airbag inflators, is now calling on Takata to contact other manufacturers to speed up airbag production so that drivers can have the on-the-road safety that will prevent additional injuries and deaths. So far, four people have died and twelve have been injured due to Takata’s defective airbags.