The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a warning to the drivers of 4.7 million vehicles with recalled Takata airbags, especially those in regions with significant humidity, that they should bring their vehicles to a dealership to have them inspected immediately.
ABC World News reports that the defective airbags can explode, “sending dangerous materials, shards of metal, flying through the car.” ABC calls the warning a “rare move” from NHTSA, though it notes that at least four people have been killed by the airbags. ABC reports that the automakers affected by the recall include Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, and Mitsubishi, and some people who should have received a recall notification have not yet gotten theirs. ABC News also reports on the story online.
NBC Nightly News features David Freidman, Deputy Administrator of NHTSA, who says the warnings are “part of a broader recall. These air bags are defective. And anyone who has one of these vehicles is at risk in a crash.”
The CBS Evening News features Clarence Ditlow, head of the Center for Auto Safety who questions why the vehicles have not been recalled across the country, asking “How in the world can you approve a geographic recall that doesn’t include the two states where people have been killed.”
The New York (NY) Times reports in a front page story that Friedman said NHTSA was issuing the warning because “We want to make sure that everyone out there – and we’ve got millions of vehicles involved – is getting engaged and is getting their vehicles fixed to protect themselves and their families.” The Times reports that, much like General Motors’ faulty ignition switches, Toyota and Honda, the automakers with the most cars affected, lack the parts necessary to fix the flaw in all of the recalled vehicles.
Bloomberg News reports that NHTSA said that, after an investigation, “Toyota and Takata have brought forward new test results that underscore the urgency for owners in high-risk areas to take immediate action.” Bloomberg reports that, while the investigation centers on Takata, the agency is also probing how automakers responded to the faulty airbags.
USA Today reports that automakers of affected vehicles are advising owners to avoid having passengers sit in the front-seat until the problem with the airbags is resolved. USA Today reports that 16 million vehicles have been recalled around the world due to the airbags since 2008. NHTSA said on Monday, “At this point, the issue appears to be a problem related to extended exposure to consistently high humidity. However, we are leaving no stone unturned in our aggressive pursuit to track down the full geographic scope of this issue.”
The Los Angeles reports that the age of some of the vehicles recalled may make it difficult to track down the current owners of the vehicles.From the news release of the American Association for Justice.
From the news release of the American Association for Justice.