Incredibly, with more than a decade into the XXI century, the world still faces incredible threats from companies that put earnings ahead of human lives. First off, we had GM’s decade long concealment of a deadly ignition switch defect. Now we have airbags that should protect, not kill people.
The Japanese auto safety supplier Takata Corp – one of the world’s largest suppliers of safety (!) equipment for cars has produced airbags fitted in millions of Vehicles around the world that can explode. The inflator in the airbag can burst with excessive force, sending metal debris and shrapnel flying inside the cabin at high velocity. Five deaths have been reported so far to be linked to the massive defect, that has encompassed millions of cars since 2008.
The latest victim, the first one outside the US – in Malaysia – is particularly gruesome: Law Suk Leh died while driving a 2003 Honda City. She was 43 years old, married and eight-and-a-half months pregnant. She succumbed on her way to the hospital, because the inflator inside the airbag, produced by Takata, malfunctioned and ruptured, sending a one-inch-wide piece of metal into her neck. Sadly, the infant was later also lost.
While most of the recalls have affected the US or Japan, countries with a thorough system that deals with recalls, around the world the globalization of car producing also brought worldwide safety problems.