Automakers still have trouble fixing the life-saving airbag image

You might not believe it, but it’s true. What should be a life-saving technology might not work properly even after it was initially fixed. This is what US auto safety regulators are saying after they announced the latest airbag recall that spreads across 2.1 million cars.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration had to call a press brief on Saturday to let the public know that an already finished recall – of nine models from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Honda and Toyota was insufficient. There’s a catch though – for those who completed the initial repair a second visit to the dealership is now required, though the new replacement parts for the upgraded fix might not be available in the area until year-end. And there’s a second catch – some of the cars are part of last year’s scandalous 10-automaker recall of Takata-produced airbags that saw the inflator prone to rupture. “If you own an affected vehicle, this means driving around with the knowledge your air bag might still randomly deploy,” said Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “And just to keep it interesting, some of these vehicles are equipped with Takata air bags, meaning the random deployment could include metal shrapnel.”

The conundrums faced by the technology seem to be the biggest since the mid-1990s, when the NHTSA was investigating cases when first-generation airbags were deploying with such massive force that it would kill children and small adults riding in the front seats. The latest recall is not even related to the Takata inflator debacle – in this instance it’s about an electronic component from TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.

Via Bloomberg