One in seven vehicles on American roads may have defective airbags that can potentially severely injured or even killed passengers as they violently deployed and send shrapnel flying into the car passenger’s compartment. Yesterday after more than 10 years of denial, Takata admitted that his products were defective and agreed to double the number of vehicles recalled in the Unites States to nearly 34 millions.
When a crash happens, pellets of a propellant based on ammonia nitrate are ignited and generate the nitrogen gas that inflates the airbag in a fraction of a second. Takata said manufacturing problems, together with exposure to moisture in cars in humid regions, can cause the propellant to degrade. This can make the propellant burn too strongly when the airbag is deployed, rupturing the inflater and sending metal fragments into the car’s interior and injuring the driver or passengers.
Read more in the New York Times