Another development in the ongoing Takata airbag recall saga might mean some vehicles at the auction you frequent — or perhaps even units already in your dealership inventory — could be equipped with airbags that need replacing.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday said 2.7 million vehicles from Ford, Nissan and Mazda have an additional inflator type that will pose a safety risk if not replaced. Officials explained new Takata test data identified this expansion of the ongoing recalls, which have led to the repairs of more than 8.1 million units so far.
The agency noted this development is the first recalled inflator type that uses a desiccated phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate (PSAN), but this is not a recall for all desiccated PSAN inflators.
“Currently, there are no reports of injuries or fatalities resulting from the rupture of a desiccated PSAN inflator,” NHTSA said in a document sent to AuSM. “In fact, currently there are no known ruptures of this inflator with this desiccant, though the testing data clearly shows that the propellant is degrading and is on the path towards ruptures in the future.
Most of the units included in the latest development are from Ford — about 2.2 million units — according to federal officials.
“We’re aware of Takata’s submission, and we have been in regular with the agency on the issue. Importantly, we aren’t aware of any incidents, and test data doesn’t suggest any issues,” Ford said in a statement sent to AuSM without disclosing the specific models that are included. Blue Oval officials have five days to reply to NHTSA’s announcement.
Meanwhile, Nissan was more specific in its statement to AuSM.
The automaker said approximately 626,805 Nissan Versa hatchbacks and sedans from the 2007 through 2012 model years in the U.S. and Canada are affected with approximately 515,394 units being sold in the U.S.
“Although there have been no known incidents associated with this specific inflator type, Nissan Group is implementing this recall out of an abundance of caution,” the OEM said.
“Nissan Group is committed to the safety and security of our customers and their passengers,” the company continued while adding that owners of affected vehicles will be notified within the next 60 days with additional instructions.
The remaining units — about 6,000 — are from Mazda.
And federal officials acknowledged their work involving Takata appears to be far from being completed.
“NHTSA’s investigation remains active. Additional desiccated inflators are still being investigated to determine whether or not they are defective,” officials said. “Bottom line: If there are inflators out there that are unsafe, NHTSA expects their recall.
“It’s important that the public check for recalls and get the free air bag replacement if their vehicle is affected,” they went on to say while noting that Takata is required to prove the safety of these inflators by the end of 2019.