Honda announced their recall of 1.2 million Honda and Acura vehicles due to defective Takata airbags on the driver's side. The Takata airbags were once thought to be safe, and even replaced older inflators under a recall that began in 2014. The airbags only recently came under scrutiny after an automobile accident and airbag explosion in Maryland injured the driver of a Honda Odyssey. The U.S. National Highway Safety Administration's (NHTSA's) investigation involving the 2004 Honda Odyssey discovered that the driver's airbag inflator ruptured.
Ford has recalled close to one million vehicles around the world to replace defective Takata airbag inflators. The Detroit Free Press reports that the vehicles have been recalled due to a risk of flying shrapnel caused by exploding airbag inflators. Takata used the chemical, ammonium nitrate, to create an explosion to inflate airbags. However, it can deteriorate over time due to heat and humidity. When the ammonium nitrate has deteriorated, it will explode with too much force and blow apart the metal canister designed to contain the explosion. Hundreds of people have been injured by the shrapnel from these airbags and at least twenty-three people have been killed worldwide.
Recently, Takata Corporation, a Japanese manufacturer of airbags, had an additional 3.3 million airbags supplied to auto manufacturers recalled in the United States. The recalled airbags were supplied in over 43 million U.S. vehicles. Currently, approximately 20 deaths and 180 injuries have been linked to the faulty airbags.
Despite a finding that Takata airbags are prone to dangerous explosions when deployed, the Japanese auto supplier, Takata, and the auto industry as a whole have been slow in their widespread recall. This slow recall poses a deadly threat to millions of drivers and passengers.
Overwhelmed by airbag recalls and lawsuits, Japanese based company, Takata Corporation filed for bankruptcy protection in both Japan and the United States on Monday, June 26, 2017. The airbags manufactured by Takata Corp. used inflators powered by ammonium nitrate that caused the airbag to explode upon deployment, sending pieces of metal shrapnel into drivers. These faulty airbags were responsible for the deaths of 16 people. In addition to the fatalities, Takata is responsible for at least 180 injuries and is having to deal with the largest automotive recall in the history of the United States. So far 100 million airbags equipped with the faulty inflators have been recalled worldwide, including 69 million in the U.S., affecting 42 million vehicles.
Earlier this month, Takata Corp., the Japanese airbag manufacturer, announced that it would expand recalls for defective airbag inflators to 40 million.
Honda Motor Company indicated it will no longer use airbags made by its long time Japanese supplier, Takata. The automobile company stated, "Honda expects its suppliers to act with integrity at all times and we are deeply troubled by this apparent behavior by one of our suppliers." Honda also alleges that Takata misrepresented and manipulated test data to conceal defective airbag inflators. New Honda automobile models currently under development will not use any of the Japanese auto supplier's airbags or any other of its products in the future.