Earlier this year, Japanese air bag manufacturer Takata Corp issued a recall of airbags in 53 million vehicles worldwide. 550,000 of these vehicles were in Australia and required their airbags to be replaced.
The faulty airbags resulted from the manufacturing process and allow moisture to connect with the ammonium nitrite, the chemical Takata use to inflate the airbags. The moisture causes the chemical to become unstable and blow apart the metal canister designed to contain the explosion.
Affected vehicles previously included Toyota, Honda and Nissan. The vehicles affected have recently expanded to include Volkswagen. An incident in June 2015 in the United States is the first reported event involving a side airbag in a 2015 Volkswagen. The airbag, one of Takata’s newest versions, blew apart the metal canister. The driver did not seek medical attention and it is unknown whether he was cut by the shrapnel.
Takata’s official statement indicates the company does not consider this recent event to be related to previous recalls. The incident has raised questions as to whether all airbags filled with ammonium nitrate should be recalled.
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Written by Shine Lawyers on September 20, 2017. Last modified: April 18, 2019.