US: automakers gather in concerted effort to investigate Takata airbag defect image

Following our report yesterday, Toyota and nine other automakers have released a joint statement saying they decided to hire an independent engineering firm to perform the necessary tests on defective Takata-produced airbag inflators.

The Japanese auto safety supplier has been at the center of a growing global safety crisis, with millions of cars recalled since 2008 (the situation has aggravated this year) because of faulty airbag inflators – they can explode with too much force, sending metal shards and shrapnel inside the cabin at high velocity. So far, five deaths have been confirmed and the carmakers – after a Toyota call to rally last week – have gathered to pull their resources and find the root cause of the defect – unknown to anyone so far.

In the meeting held December 11 near Detroit, the companies said in a joint statement “our goal is to ensure that an independent, well-qualified expert is quickly selected in order to further investigate the technical issues involved with Takata air bags.” While the parts maker itself refused to expand the safety campaigns beyond the humid regions and territories (seen as a favoring cause), some of the automakers – such as Honda or Toyota – have already announced expanded global recalls.

Via Bloomberg