There is more bad news for Takata, recently a 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan’s side airbag ruptured after the vehicle struck a deer.
Fortunately no one was injured, but this does raise more questions about exactly how far reaching this faulty airbag debacle is.
Is this issue related to the massive recalls in recent years?
If so, this represents the first side airbag defect, the first VW related airbag recall and the second vehicle newer than 2011 model year to be affected besides the 2014 Ford Mustang.
According to a Takata spokesman, “We believe [this malfunction] is unrelated to the previous recalls, which the extensive data suggests were a result of aging and long-term exposure to heat and high humidity.”
A point of interest only VW and Tesla, who both presently use Takata airbags, are the only manufacturers who as yet have not been subject to this ever expanding recall. VW is now part of the NHTSA investigation.
But how honest is Takata being?
They claim it is high humidity, but this is only a guess. Truthfully they do not yet fully understand the reason for this defect nor even know which batches are defective. Scarily they cannot be sure that the replacement parts are safe.
Two U.S. senators, who are on the committee overseeing the investigation into the Takata scandal are calling for an immediate recall of all vehicles that use Takata supplied airbags.
In a statement on his website Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal’s stated, “In light of the most recent incident, which did not occur in one of the regions originally designated as ‘high humidity,’ and which involved a 2015 vehicle not currently subject to recall, we urge you to voluntarily recall all vehicles containing Takata airbags.”
In a move to hurry up recall repairs and distance them from the sinking ship Takata, Toyota has announced it will start considering sourcing replacement airbag inflators from other companies.
Why has it taken so long?
Toyota has been hardest hit by the recall affecting around 12 million of its vehicles; you would assume that after such an unprecedented hit someone would have made this decision long ago. The trouble is parts availability. The sheer volume of needed parts is well beyond any aftermarket supplier’s ability to fulfill on such short notice, and with so much distrust of Takata replacement parts, it will be years before this story is over.
Unsure if your vehicle is affected, use this link to check the NHTSA expanding list: