US: NHTSA aims to expand Takata recalls to nationwide level image

The US auto safety agency has moved to ask Japanese auto safety parts supplier and some five carmakers to transform a regional recall into a nationwide safety campaign.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has decided to tell Takata and the five carmakers they need to expand nationwide what was so far just a “regional” recall in areas of high humidity. No less than 11 million autos have been recalled since 2013 in the US alone (worldwide recalls started since 2008) because of potentially fatal defects found in the airbag inflators. The part, supplied by Takata Corp. can potentially explode with too much force, sending shrapnel and metal debris flying inside the cabin at high velocity. So far, five fatalities have been tied globally to the faulty airbags.

The NHTSA also admonished the Japanese supplier for what it considered “an unwillingness to move forward” towards the nationwide expansion of the recalls, adding that Takata would do well to open up more to the US public about the risks stemming from the defective parts. Some of the automakers involved in the recall campaigns (including Toyota, the largest carmaker in the world) also moved to advise owners of the affected vehicles not to take passengers on the front seat of the cars until the faulty parts are replaced.

Via Reuters