This latest airbag inflator recall was prompted by test results that show predictors of future explosions, the NHSTA said in a statement. Takata reportedly said that it isn’t aware of any ruptures involving the inflators at issue but is taking action out of “an abundance of caution,” the NHTSA states. At least 11 deaths have been linked to the airbags, which can explode due to a design defect.
In March, Takata Corporation agreed to pay $1 billion to settle multi-district litigation alleging it was aware of the fatal defect with its airbags but sold them anyway. This June, Takata filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US.
This latest recall, announced Monday, involves the earliest generation of Takata airbag inflators, which use calcium sulfate as a desiccant, or drying agent, and were placed in driver-side airbags installed in vehicles sold by Ford Motor Co., Mazda North American Operations and Nissan North America Inc., according to the NHSTA.
READ MORE TAKATA AIR BAG RECALLS LEGAL NEWSIn March 2016, Takata and Nissan began recovering and evaluating vehicles with the inflators. Subsequently, Ford agreed to a similar project in June 2016. Since then, the inflators in question have been tested and Takata determined that while none of them did explode, they do pose a risk of exploding, which could be fatal. Inflators installed in Mazdas haven’t been tested, the government said.
In a statement released earlier this week, Mazda states that about 6,000 B-Series trucks from model years 2007-2009 sold in the US are affected by the recall. Mazda is not aware of any incidents associated with these inflators in these vehicles, according to the statement.
The potentially defective Takata inflators were installed on nearly 515,000 Nissan Versas sold in the US, in model years 2007-2012. No known incidents are associated with the inflators installed in these vehicles either.
Ford has reportedly said that it's aware of Takata's plan and has been in regular contact with the NHTSA on the issue.