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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Safety delays over faulty air bags

Today's post was shared by Take Justice Back and comes from

THE NATIONAL Highway Transportation Safety Administration is widening its crackdown on air bags at risk of exploding — potentially killing or maiming the people they are supposed to protect. This is another case in which it has taken years for the government and car companies to come to grips with the full scale of a deadly automotive defect, demonstrating again that the nation’s vehicle safety monitors aren’t doing a good enough job.
Takata is one of a few firms worldwide that manufacture air bags. The devices are supposed to deploy with enough force to provide protection in milliseconds, preventing dangerous impacts with other parts of a car. The bags at issue appear prone to deploy too violently, creating metal shards and propelling them toward people in the car. The problem has been linked to four U.S. deaths and many injuries — including those of Stephanie Erdman, who testified before a Senate panel on Thursday that she was blinded in one eye after her Honda air bag deployed.
Takata air-bag recalls have been going on since 2008, but evidence of the problem began emerging long before that. The company admitted last week that Honda sent it photos of a burst air bag in 2005 that it failed to investigate. Since then, the scale of the problem has grown alarmingly. Air bags in humid places seem to be more at risk, suggesting some interaction between chemicals used to deploy air bags and moisture. Recalls first focused on 8 million cars in humid...
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