Yet another person has been killed by a defective airbag inflator, bringing the worldwide death toll to 26, with over 240 others who have been seriously injured by these devices. Since 2014, nearly 50 million Takata airbags have been recalled in the United States alone, with recalls affecting nearly every vehicle manufacturer, including the Detroit Three, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Daimler, Subaru, Volkswagen, and Audi.
Posts tagged "ammonium nitrate"
Nearly one month after the fatal explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, the demand for greater protections for chemical plant workers continues. On August 17, 2020, members of the House Committee on Education and Labor wrote the Secretary of Labor, directing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to make changes to outdated ammonium nitrate standards. Following the West Fertilizer explosion in 2013, former President Barack Obama ordered OSHA to update chemical plant safety standards, including, in large part, the standards for ammonium nitrate. However, years later, no progress has been made.
Since 2014, nearly 50 million Takata airbags have been recalled in the United States alone. Prior to the recalls, Takata had about 20 percent of the global airbag market, with the recalls affecting nearly every vehicle manufacturer, including the Detroit Three, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Daimler, Subaru, Volkswagen, and Audi. Although just over 37 million Takata airbags have been repaired, nearly 12.5 million are still in cars on the road today.
Nissan recently issued a recall for around 346,000 vehicles to replace defective Takata airbags. Takata airbags were first recalled in 2014, yet Nissan did not announce these vehicles contained defective airbags until January 2020. Authorized Nissan Dealerships began replacing the airbags on February 10, 2020.
In April 2013, an explosion at an ammonium nitrate storage facility rocked the small town of West, Texas, and killed over a dozen people, including first responders.
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.
Honda is adding 1.4 million cars, SUVs, and trucks to its list of vehicles that should have their Takata airbags replaced. Included in the airbag recall list are vehicles branded as Acura, Honda's luxury brand, according to the automaker.
On Tuesday, August 23, a truck crashed, caught fire, and exploded in the small town of Quemado near Eagle Pass, Texas. The explosion leveled the nearby home of Lucila Robles, killing her, and left debris more than two miles away. On Monday, August 29, Takata Corp., the troubled airbag manufacturer, confirmed that the truck was carrying Takata airbag inflators with their ammonium nitrate propellant. Takata has a warehouse in Eagle Pass and a factory across the border in Monclava, Mexico.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened a formal engineering analysis investigation into airbags made by ARC Automotive after the company's airbags were linked to the death of a Canadian driver last month. The fatality in Canada was due to the driver's Hyundai Elantra's airbag inflator exploding as a result of a low impact collision. This death was the first known fatality in recent years from a rupture in an airbag manufactured by a supplier other than Takata. Previous non-fatal incidents involving ARC airbags in 2009 and 2014 sparked preliminary investigations into whether the airbags should be the subject of a product recall.
Some Fiat Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Toyota, and Volkswagen vehicles from the 2016 and 2017 model years being sold are equipped with Takata airbag inflators, despite the devices being potentially defective and likely to be recalled within a few years, according to a Senate report. Takata has already agreed to recall about 69 million airbag inflators in the U.S. by the end of 2019, but these automakers can legally sell their newer model vehicles as they are not yet covered by the recall.