Nissan Motor Co, the second biggest Japanese automaker, announced on Wednesday an airbag manufactured by Takata Corp. deployed improperly during a crash that involved one of its vehicles on a road in Japan.
This would be the automaker’s first case at home, with tens of millions of autos equipped with Takata-built airbag inflators being recalled around the planet by a total of eleven carmakers. Takata has been involved in an expanding safety crisis since 2008, when it first recalled vehicles alongside the automotive partners, but the issue took disastrous proportions since last year, culminating in the agreement to oblige to NHTSA’s call to expand the safety campaign to cover almost 34 million autos in the US alone – the largest single product recall in the country’s history. The defect has been tied to eight deaths so far, all in Honda vehicles, Takata’s largest client, with the inflators exploding with too much force and sending metal debris inside the cabin at high velocity.
The latest case, in Japan, had to do with the passenger-side airbag inflator of an X-Trail sports utility vehicle built in August 2001 and recalled in April 2013, according to Nissan, with Takata supplying it from an assembly facility in Washington in the United States. According to a company spokesperson, the passenger-side airbag inflator deployed abnormally, spreading high-temperature fragments into the dashboard and breaking the passenger-side window. Fortunately, there was no passenger in the car and the driver sustained light injuries, still unclear if they were coming from the Takata part.