Four major automakers have landed squarely in the crosshairs of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation. According to documents posted on December 19th, 2019, Audi, Toyota, Honda, and Mitsubishi are the companies under investigation. The probe revolves around a Takata airbag recall, which involved 1.4 million airbag inflators.
The inflators are reported to have a unique problem that can cause them to blow apart, sending metal shrapnel into drivers’ and passengers’ faces and bodies. The issue stems from problems caused by insufficient seals and a chemical deterioration within the product. Takata, the maker of the air bags, has already recalled approximately 100 million inflators worldwide, while 19 automakers have recalled approximately 70 million inflators, making it the largest grouping of automotive recalls in United States history.
Takata, who has gone bankrupt due to the recalls, believes it’s made about 4.5 million of the faulty inflators. However, Takata claims only a portion are still in use, because the vehicles equipped with the inflators are so old.