Recall All Vehicles With Takata Airbags, Two U.S. Senators Say | Edmunds

Recall All Vehicles With Takata Airbags, Two U.S. Senators Say

WASHINGTON — Two U.S. senators are calling for the recall of all vehicles with Takata airbags, following a report earlier this week of a side-airbag rupture in a 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV.

"As new reports surface of explosions in the latest models of Takata airbags, we write to express our deep concern over the obfuscation and delay that your company has engaged in while searching for a root cause of these defects," wrote U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) in a letter to the Japanese auto supplier.

The senators urged Takata to "voluntarily recall all vehicles with Takata airbags and to immediately make public, on an ongoing basis, any and all data related to the testing of Takata's airbags, so that it can be reviewed by independent experts and analysts."

The defective Takata airbags have caused eight deaths and more than 100 injuries. The airbags can explode with too much force, shooting metal shrapnel at vehicle occupants.

Takata is at the center of the largest auto recall in U.S. history involving nearly 34 million vehicles built by 11 automakers.

The latest push for a wider recall follows a June 7 incident involving the Tiguan, a vehicle that is not part of the current Takata recall.

The incident happened after the driver hit a deer in Missouri, not one of the original high-humidity states included in the Takata recall. The driver did not seek medical attention, a Volkswagen spokesman told Edmunds.

Volkswagen is not part of the Takata airbag recall.

"In light of the most recent incident, which did not occur in one of the regions originally designated as 'high humidity' and which involved a 2015 vehicle not currently subject to recall, we urge you to voluntarily recall all vehicles containing Takata airbags," the senators said.

Takata spokesman Jared Levy told Edmunds on Thursday that the company "is investigating the cause of the inflator malfunction on June 7, which we believe is unrelated to the previous recalls."

Levy said Takata is "cooperating closely with NHTSA and the vehicle manufacturer."

He added: "Driver safety is our top priority, and we have dedicated tremendous resources to testing and researching returned inflators, including retaining leading experts around the world. We continue to share testing data with NHTSA and vehicle manufacturers."

Blumenthal and Markey asked Takata Vice President Kevin Kennedy for a response to their request by September 3.

Edmunds says: This latest development should serve as a reminder to consumers to get any of these recalled cars fixed. You can determine if your car is involved in the Takata airbag recall by using the VIN Lookup Tool provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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