Japan’s auto safety parts manufacturer, Takata Corp., has released an update of its work to the US auto safety regulator on the progress with the airbag recall campaigns, part of the agreement signed in May.
Back in May the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration required the Tokyo-based Takata to deliver progress reports on its findings – all while the parts manufacturer admitted to the safety defect and expanded certain airbag recalls. The efforts disclosed on Tuesday are part of the company’s strategy to stop the escalating fatalities and injuries related to the safety issue – with airbags exploding with too much force have been tied to eight fatalities, hundreds of injuries and the biggest-ever automotive recall in the US. The series of recalls have affected eleven automotive partners and in the US alone an estimated 32 million autos. The volatile nature of the safety flaw in the airbags has gone unresolved for the past decade as neither Takata nor the US agency or the consortium of automakers have been able to find a root cause until now.
So far, automakers have initially mostly targeted southern states with the repairs because the flaw is believed to occur more often in cars that endure prolonged, constant exposure to high humidity. Takata has also filed with the NHTSA a plan about how it intends to direct its searches and testing to find the underlying cause of the airbag failures. Unfortunately, the strategy has not been allowed public, with most (37 of 39) pages marked confidential on a document posted on the agency’s website.