For a couple of years now, manufacturers all over the world have issued numerous recalls regarding defective Takata airbags which have been linked to a number of injuries and fatalities. In particular, Takata’s airbag inflators were found to have been faulty which could then rupture and send debris flying into occupants inside the vehicle. After Takata pleaded guilty and settled, most thought that was the end of it.
Now, airbags are under the spotlight once more. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the US has opened an investigation into a different airbag supplier, TRW Automotive Holdings, now known as ZF-TRW, with regard to potentially defective airbags. The agency says that several of the faulty airbags were installed in some vehicles sold by Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi, and Toyota from 2010 to 2019.
Particularly, the issue comes from the supplier’s airbag control unit which uses sensors to determine whether or not to deploy the vehicle’s airbags during an accident. According to the NHTSA, the potential defect is that the airbags might not deploy when they actually should due to ‘electrical overstress’. However, in its initial probe, the agency says that the probability of it occurring is low.
According to the NHTSA’s report, Hyundai, Kia, and Fiat-Chrysler have previously issued a recall for vehicles with the potentially defective TRW airbag control units. Furthermore, the agency also found that two crashes involving Toyota vehicles also had a faulty airbag control unit.
For now, the full list of affected vehicles has yet to be announced as the agency is still investigating the issue. Should the agency find a serious problem that could potentially affect vehicle and passenger safety, then they can likely order suppliers and automakers to recall affected vehicles.
Considering that some of the vehicles sold in the Philippines are built from the US, owners here might want to keep an eye out for any potential recalls in the future.