Trucks and cars from 2008 or older that were originally registered and sold in high humidity areas along US Gulf Coast are being prioritized for repairs as government commences the massive recall of Takata air bag inflator.
Honda Motor Co leads all automobiles makers with nine models marked as the biggest risk from air bag inflators which can explode when much force is applied, spewing metal bits into passengers and drivers. The Fiat Chrysler was a close second, with seven models.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took control of this recall, that covers around 19.2 million vehicles and it is the biggest in the US history. The agency wants to expedite the pace of repairs and ensure that the replacement parts get to cars with highest risk.
Even with government intervention, it may take around four years for replacing all the 23.4 million potentially faulty inflators which are on the US roads. High priority models were announced under an agreement with the Takata Corp of Japan for paying up to $200 million penalty for deception in reporting delays and problems in fixing the inflators. Trucks and cars from Honda’s Acura luxury brand are on the high risk list date to the 2001 model year. Vehicles from eleven other truck and car makers are there on the list too.
Takata inflators can blow a metal canister apart and spew the shrapnel into passengers and drivers. Eight people all over the world have been killed by inflators and there are more than a hundred people injured. Apart from Fiat Chrysler and Honda, Toyota has five vehicles in the group, followed by Subaru, Nissan, Mazda and Ford with three each. General Motors, Mitsubishi and Daimler vans have two models each whereas Daimler Trucks and BMW have one each.
The NHTSA has claimed that trucks and cars are under the Priority One group also have air bags installed on the driver’s side or passenger and driver inflators that are faulty. NHTSA defines high humidity areas as Florida, Hawaii, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, Texas, Saipan, Guam, American Samoa and US Virgin Islands. The agency has commented that people with such vehicles should have them repaired as soon as they can. The agency has set deadlines for ensuring older cars in risky areas get inflators first.