The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would have opened a new investigation on vehicles equipped with the now “famous” defective airbags of the Japanese Takata.
So far, we have witnessed countless recalls following a multitude of accidents and investigations into defective Takata airbags, including many GM brands, including several Saab car series and models.
Numerous media outlets point to the latest security investigation. According to reports from Reuters, based on a document from the US transport safety agency NHTSA, the investigation concerns about 30 million vehicles, produced by over 20 car manufacturers between 2001 and 2019. If the investigation finds that there are problems with an even larger number of Takada airbags, then of course new recalls for a certain number of Saab cars should be expected among them.
The outlines of the investigation. In particular, the NHTSA initiative seems to involve almost the entire spectrum of the big manufacturers present on the American market: Honda, Ford, Toyota, General Motors (SAAB), Nissan, Subaru, Tesla, Ferrari, Mazda, Daimler, BMW, Chrysler, Porsche and Jaguar Land Rover.
The investigation includes vehicles equipped with inflation devices that were found to be defective when they left the assembly lines and also after the repair campaigns imposed by the authorities in recent years.
In the United States alone, recalls have been ordered for more than 67 million vehicles (the tally exceeds 100 million worldwide) after several investigations that have led to the identification of a culprit defect 28 deaths globally and over 400 injuries.
Ammonium nitrate, used as a propellant to inflate the airbags, has proved too sensitive to sudden changes in temperature and humidity: the consequent deterioration determines the malfunction of the entire safety system and the possibility that fragments are thrown into the passenger compartment deadly metal for driver and passengers.
The 30 million vehicles that are part of the new investigation have inflators with a “desiccant” or drying agent. According to the document, NHTSA said there have been no reported ruptures of vehicles on the roads with air bag inflators with the drying agent.
NHTSA did not immediately publish an overview of how many vehicles per manufacturer would be recalled, but certainly among the many GM models it should be expected that there will be some Saab models and series with built-in problematic Takata airbags.