US: NHTSA pans Chrysler for refusal to expand Takata airbags recall image

According to the US auto safety regulator, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the third-largest national automaker – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV- is endangering the public.

That’s because the US carmaker has refused to expand a recall on models that are equipped with flawed passenger-side airbags, produced by Japan’s Takata Corp. The Japanese auto safety parts supplier is at the center of a growing auto safety recall crisis. Since 2008, millions of vehicles have been recalled worldwide by ten automakers because of potentially defective airbag inflators – they could explode with too much force, sending metal debris and shrapnel flying inside the cabin at high velocity.

Now, the NHTSA deputy director, David Friedman, announced the US regulator was reviewing a decision of the company “to ensure that Chrysler shares our sense of urgency in the interest of public safety.” FCA’s Chrysler Group LLC subsidiary decided to expand a recall for Ram pickup trucks, leaving out of the safety campaign another five vehicles, according to documents filed with the auto-safety agency.

Takata so far only acknowledged that airbag inflators are defective because of prolonged exposure to high humidity, refusing an order form the NHTSA to expand the US recalls to nationwide levels. Just seven states, Puerto Rico and four US territories should see vehicles equipped with Takata airbags undergoing a replacement intervention.

Via Bloomberg