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Defective airbags: US authorities examine 30 million cars


Faulty airbags from a Japanese supplier had caused numerous deaths - a new investigation of millions of cars has now started in the USA. German manufacturers could also be affected.

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Takata airbag test (archive image)

Photo: Wolfgang Thieme / dpa

The Takata case has preoccupied the auto industry for many years.

Now there are apparently further investigations of considerable proportions in the United States.

The US Department of Transportation, NHTSA, has launched a new investigation into 30 million vehicles equipped with potentially defective Takata airbags.

Accordingly, the investigation affects almost two dozen car manufacturers, including BMW, Porsche and Daimler, according to a government document viewed by the Reuters news agency.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began its engineering investigations on an estimated 30 million US vehicles from model years 2001 to 2019 on Friday. On the same day, automakers were notified of the investigation, which had not yet been publicly announced.

It concerns the models of the car manufacturers Honda Motor Co, Ford Motor Co, Toyota Motor Corp, General Motors Co, Nissan Motor, Subaru, Tesla, Ferrari NV, Nissan Motor, Mazda, Daimler AG, BMW Chrysler (part of Stellantis NV) , Porsche Cars, Jaguar Land Rover (Tata Motors) and others.

The automaker and the NHTSA have not yet responded to requests from Reuters about the investigation on Sunday.

Company filed for bankruptcy years ago

It is not the first comparable incident involving the company's airbags. Over the past decade, millions of cars have been examined in multiple product recalls. At least 25 people around the world had previously died from defective airbags. Takata had initially paid a billion-dollar fine - and finally filed for bankruptcy in June 2017. The last time there was a recall was in January 2020: Among other things, BMW ordered more than 300,000 US cars to the workshops. At that time it was discovered that Takata systems that had been repaired could also be defective.

Takata used ammonium nitrate in the airbags to create the necessary explosion for the air cushion.

The problem: moisture changes the chemical's properties.

This can cause the explosion to be too strong and throw metal parts of the gas generator into the interior and injure the occupants.

According to the NHTSA, it is also possible that the airbag is deployed too slowly or without an accident.

jok / Reuters

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2021-09-20

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