As federal officials dig deeper, they are finding even more concerning news about Takata Corp and its defective airbag inflators. Reports have been discovered that cast a shadow upon the company’s honesty, and the research group tasked with discovering the defect has finally pinpointed the problem.
Takata Airbag Defect Found!
Research group Orbital ATK has found out what was causing Takata airbag inflators to explode and pepper car occupants with shrapnel. The company was hired by a coalition of 10 automakers to find this reason, and Orbital ATK spent 20,000 hours testing the faulty car parts. So what did the technicians and scientists find?
Three elements worked together to turn airbag inflators into deadly grenade-like explosives: high temperature and humidity cycles, Poor manufacturing, and a flaw in the ammonium nitrate propellant used to inflate the airbags.
Scientists found that the inflator assembly does not seal out moisture or heat very well, which allows humidity and heat to make the ammonium nitrate propellant unstable and more explosive. The scientists concluded that the propellant itself was the primary source of the defect because it was missing a drying agent that could prevent instability. This news verifies the suspicions of many experts.
Can Officials Fix The Defective Inflators?
The drying agent that was missing in the defective inflators is being used in many of the replacement inflators, and though Takata Corp says this should solve the problem, many lawmakers are still worried. Florida’s very own Sen. Bill Nelson is urging NHTSA to ban ammonium nitrate from being used in the replacement inflators. He believes using the chemical would be like installing a “new live grenade” to replace the “old live grenade” in people’s cars, though the manufacturer doesn’t believe the propellant is that dangerous.
However, a new Senate report has also revealed that Takata Corp lied and misrepresented data in its own production records. This has made federal officials reluctant to trust the manufacturer, which could mean even more Takata airbags will soon be recalled. Keep following our blog, Twitter and Facebook to find out more about developments in the Takata airbag recall case.
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