Car Recalls Across The Globe Raise Safety Issues

Concerns Raised Regarding Takata Airbags In Range Of Vehicles

20.11.2014

The issue of car safety has been placed in the spotlight due to recent product recalls.

Four deaths have been linked to an alleged defect in airbags manufactured by Takata Corp which can cause the airbag’s steel canister to crack into pieces when the airbag deploys in a crash, sending small fragments of metal flying inside the car. Takata is one of the world’s largest suppliers of airbags and their airbags account for about one-fifth of the global market.

Ten manufacturers have been identified who use Takata as a supplier and UK-bought cars including Toyota and Nissan cars are being recalled.

Toyota has issued a recall due to the fault and has recently added an undisclosed number of cars from model years 2001-2006 to their recall. Toyota has previously said that the serial number provided by Takata in relation to affected models was sometimes incomplete. This led to some cars not being serviced despite the initial recall notice. The company has said it is now replacing the relevant part in “all affected vehicles”.

Other firms have also issued recalls due to the fault. In June, Nissan, Mazda and others added around 2.8 million vehicles to a recall they issued in 2013 over a defect in passenger airbags. In total 11 car manufacturers have recalled more than 14 million vehicles worldwide because of the risk of rupture. Nissan and Mazda had carried out earlier recalls, however Takata is reported to have realised that the earlier recalls had not included all of the defective airbags.

The most recent death linked to the airbags involved an accident in Los Angeles in 2013 when a 47-year-old man was killed.  An autopsy suggested the extensive lacerations on the victim’s face were caused by “a metallic portion” of the airbag inflator that “hit the deceased on the face as it deployed.” The report also said tears had been discovered in the airbag.

Mazda’s affected models are the Atenza and RX-8. The affected Toyota models include the Corolla, Matrix, Tundra, Yaris and Camry. Nissan’s affected models are the Terrano II, X-Trail, Patrol, Almera Tino and Pickup.