Following the agreement with US safety regulators over the recent recall expansion, the Japanese auto parts maker declared nearly 14 million airbags defective.
At the beginning of this month, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration alongside Takata said the carmakers would have to recall another 35 million to 40 million inflators, in addition to the 28.8 million potentially faulty parts already called back so far. This massive expansion is planned to take place in phases between May and December 2019. Therefore, Takata announced this week the first wave, as it declared 14 million inflators defective. But even if the company complied and cooperated with regulators’ inquiries over the matter, it still does not take full responsibility over the deadly issue.
Takata spokesman Toyohiro Hishikawa told to Reuters that the supplier “generally agrees” with the NHTSA’s valuation, “but we can’t say that our assessments match NHTSA’s 100 percent because we have yet to make our own conclusions.” Tests showed the use of ammonium nitrate was the key factor of the explosive airbags ruptures, as exposure to humidity coupled with variations in temperatures over time could lead to an instant combustion of the propellant.
Takata also started an internal investigation, but admitting its failures would mean to share more of the costs-burden of the recall with the automakers. If the company is to found solely responsible for this massive safety crisis, it could face costs of nearly 10 billion dollars, according to some estimates.