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Inflator Inquisition: NHTSA launches new probe to root out remaining Takata airbags

Toronto, Ontario — Like a kid with a stick and a dead squirrel, the NHTSA is launching a new probe to root out the remaining Takata airbags still rolling down U.S. roads.

The new probe, launched on Friday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is to involve an engineering analysis on more than 30 million American vehicles suspected of being equipped with faulty airbag inflators from Takata that have been in a state of recall since as early as 2008.

Takata went bankrupt in 2017 as a result of the scandal that would prove to be the biggest auto safety recall in history.

The vehicles involved in the latest recall are from some 2001-2019 models put together by BMW, Daimler, Stellantis, Ferrari, Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Honda Motor Company, Tata Motors, Porsche Cars, Subaru, Telsa Inc. and Toyota Motor Corp.

Nineteen of the 28 worldwide deaths tied to the faulty Takata inflators have occurred in the U.S. and there have been around 400 injuries. Among the U.S. deaths, 16 were attached to Hondas, two to Fords and one to a BMW.

According to Reuters and the governmental document, NHTSA officials said only the air bag inflators containing desiccant have exploded.

“While no present safety risk has been identified, further work is needed to evaluate the future risk of non-recalled desiccated inflators,” read the NHTSA’s statement, according to Reuters. 

“Further study is needed to assess the long-term safety of desiccated inflators.”

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