On March 2, 2018, in an announcement affecting approximately 42 million vehicles in the U.S., it was made known that over two dozen brands of auto may have an air bag that, if deployed, will shoot shrapnel into unsuspecting drivers.
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.
Toyota, already troubled with the 24 million Takata car airbag recall, is now issuing a recall in nearly 3 million sports utility vehicles over another safety issue. Toyota crash studies have shown that in serious accidents the seat belts of the second row seat could come in contact with the seat's metal frame and be severed, resulting in a failure to restrain any passengers against momentum.
Takata, a Japanese parts supplier company, has recalled more than 14 million cars that are equipped with their faulty airbags. These airbags have the potential to explode, injure, and even kill vehicle occupants. Takata has supplied these defective airbags to a number of American, Japanese, and German automakers over several years. Last year, Takata's automaker clients ordered the largest airbag-related recall in history.
Airbags provide silent, invisible protection for front seat passengers of modern automobiles. At least, that is what they are supposed to do. Now, it appears that a defect-of which most consumers would only become aware when it is too late-necessitates the recall of millions of vehicles.