Takata Recalls Additional 2.7 Million Air Bag Inflators as Twelfth Death Is Linked to Ruptured Air Bag

An inflator rupture may result in metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants, resulting in serious injury or death

Takata Recalls Additional 2.7 Million Air Bag Inflators as Twelfth Death Is Linked to Ruptured Air Bag
Image: Pixabay
July 11, 2017

Takata Corporation has issued a recall for 2.7 million PSDI-5 driver frontal air bag inflators that use calcium sulfate as a desiccant. The inflators may rupture due to propellant degradation occurring after long-term exposure to moderate absolute humidity, temperatures, and temperature cycling.

What's the problem?

These air bag inflators were assembled as part of the frontal air bag modules, and used as original equipment or replacement equipment, such as after a vehicle crash necessitating replacement of the original air bags. This recall is not for all desiccated PSAN inflators; rather it relates to a subset containing calcium sulfate.

An inflator rupture may result in metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants, resulting in serious injury or death. This is exactly what is believed to have happened in the June 2016 death of a Florida man who was driving a 2001 Honda Accord. Honda revealed this week that it has linked the death to a defective Takata air bag.

What Happens Next?

Takata says that will be working with vehicle manufacturers to determine into which vehicles the affected inflators were installed either as original or replacement equipment during service. As this work progresses, various vehicle recalls will likely be announced by the impacted vehicle manufacturers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that it will supply this information as soon as possible.

To date, approximately 42 million vehicles have been impacted by the massive Takata air bag recall that began in 2015. NHTSA also fined Takata a record $200 million.