Over the past 7 years, 17 million vehicles with defective airbags have been recalled by Takata Corp, who manufactures for over 10 automakers, such as Honda. At the slightest accident the airbags deploy with excessive force and irregular reports of shrapnel. One such incident caused a severely damaged hand, a broken eye socket and fractures, while the vehicle had only sustained a crack in the bumper. Despite the faulty part and due to the present law requiring the vehicle to be within a 10-year ownership mark, the vehicle was labeled “too old” to be included in the recall.
This incident has led for a push in changing recall laws. At present, the law only requires for manufacturers to recall defective products under 10 years old, despite studies showing the longer span of ownership. Further inquiries showed that the integrity of the faulty parts worsened over time, increasing risk to owners. In 1974, Congress ruled that automakers must refund the repair of faulty equipment. This was the last time laws were changed to accommodate the span of vehicle ownership. The average length of ownership was 9 years in 1974; in the near future, it is estimated to be 11.5 years. Currently, the average number of vehicles on the road that do not meet the safety standard requirements is 120 million.