The United States’ government is making General Motors issue a recall to repair nearly 6 million pickup trucks and SUVs, which are equipped with defective and potentially dangerous Takata airbag inflators.
The decision was announced last Monday, November 23, 2020 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and will cost GM an estimated $1.2 billion. GM petitioned NHTSA four times, since 2016, to avoid a recall and argued the airbag inflator canisters have been safe on the road and in testing.
Takata used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate airbags in a crash. Over time the ammonium nitrate deteriorates when exposed to moisture in the air, which results in a more violent explosion and can blow apart the metal cannister and hurl shrapnel into the passenger compartment. At least 26 people worldwide have been killed by the Takata inflators and it resulted in the largest automotive recall in U.S. history with over 63 million vehicles recalled.
NHTSA released a statement and advised that it analyzed available data on the airbags, including engineering and statistical analyses, aging tests, and field data. The statement said “based on this information and information provided to the petition’s public docket, NHTSA concluded that the GM inflators in question are at risk of the same type of explosion after long-term exposure to high heat and humidity as other recalled Takata inflators.”
GM has 30 days to provide NHTSA with a proposed schedule for notifying owners and starting a recall. Drivers can check to see if their vehicle has been recalled by going to https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls and keying in their 17 digit vehicle identification number.
If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of shrapnel from an exploding airbag, please contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-231-9360 or toll free at 1‑800-594-4884.