Wednesday, October 22, 2014

More scrutiny for Japanese maker of defective air bags

See the link for a list of the vehicles being recalled. Note that it is not only Japanese cars that use this air bag.

By Jeff Glor CBS News October 22, 2014

Today the government urged still more owners of vehicles with potentially deadly airbags to bring them in immediately for repair. 3 million more vehicles were added to the list, bringing the total to 7.8 million.

Also today, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Japanese maker of the defective airbags, Takata, is being targeted by federal prosecutors.

It seemed to be a minor accident in Florida involving a 2006 Dodge Charger. But when the airbag went off, it exploded, sending shrapnel into the driver's leg.

This car had a Takata airbag, but the vehicle is not on a recall list.

"The only difference between this piece of shrapnel shooting him in the leg and in the heart were inches. It was just a small difference, and luck," said Jason Turchin, who represented the victim.

Flying metal from Takata airbags has been linked to at least four deaths and 30 injuries.

The airbags contain a canister filled with a chemical propellant. In an accident, the propellant explodes with excessive force, rupturing the metal canister, sending shrapnel out.

So far, the recalls have mostly been in southern states -- because Takata believes humidity increases the force of the propellant.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was first alerted to this problem in 2008.

Now a growing chorus of legislators is asking why more isn't being done.

"I have no patience for federal regulators not being entirely up front forward leaning and aggressive to stop these defective products," said Florida Sen. Bill Nelson.



vehicles being recalled include some models of:

General Motors

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