Japanese automotive parts manufacturer Takata is currently involved in the largest automotive recall in history. The company has had defective airbags in vehicles since 2013, when several reported incidents following deployment received international attention. Executives released a statement on the issue, but they initially only thought six makes were involved in the recall. They later admitted they had no idea which vehicles had the faulty airbags or what caused the problem. Takata later said that propellant chemicals were improperly stored and handled during production, causing the metal airbag inflators to burst open, and in July of last year, they blamed humid weather.
The issue involves defective inflator and propellant devices that may deploy improperly in a crash, ejecting metal fragments into the driver and passengers. Drivers continue to see issues with these airbags worldwide; two weeks ago, an Australian woman needed medical attention to address metal lodged in her head after a low-speed collision. Around 42 million vehicles are potentially impacted in the United States, and 7 million have seen recalls worldwide, with this number expected to increase.
Police are urging people to check if their car has a faulty Takata airbag, as the recall affects models from BMW, Chrysler, Ferrari, Ford, Honda, Jeep, Lexus, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. Owners of the affected cars need to take their vehicles to their dealership to replace this part, but this is a lengthy process and many of these cars remain on the road with the faulty airbags.