Following the escalating scandal of the faulty Takata airbags and the wide U.S. vehicles recall employed in the past weeks, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration demanded yesterday a nationwide vehicles recall. The federal government’s intention is to take off the streets all cars equipped with Takata – made driver’s-side airbags.
So far, the recall affected only a handful of states and territories associated with high degrees of humidity and high temperatures, but now the regulators want to expand the safety measures to the entire nation.
If the experts’ calculations are correct, the United States regional recall involved 4.1 million cars, mostly made by Honda Motors, and expanded to parts of Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama, among others. The nationwide vehicles recall cannot be estimated yet, not even by the NHTSA officials.
However, the federal regulators consider the recall to be mandatory and serious. So serious, in fact, that they weren’t shy in sending subtle threats to the car making companies that ponder upon not complying with the demand.
David Friedman, the agency’s deputy administrator didn’t offer an exact number of vehicles to be recalled, but he said the nationwide action would most likely involve “millions” of cars made by Honda, Chrysler, Ford, Mazda and BMW (the main Takata airbags users). As for the models people would need to give up on, the officials suggested model years 2008 or earlier.
We said something about subtle threats. On Tuesday, the NHTSA urged automakers to conduct a nationwide vehicles recall and expand their efforts to solve the problem. If the car makers refuse to take immediate measures and implement the recall actions, the NHTSA will “use the full extent of its statutory powers” to compel car manufacturers to carry out the task. Luckily for everybody, none of the mentioned car automakers refused to expand the recall.
An interesting observation came from two U.S. senators who consider that the nationwide vehicles recall meant to replace driver-side air bags should also be extended to passenger air bags too.While there is little information related to this proposal, what we know is that the NHTSA heavily criticized Takata for not moving forward and not responding to federal requests.
Takata wasn’t an exemplary of promptitude when called by the authorities to issue a nationwide defect notification related to airbags pertaining to a certain model. Moreover, the Japanese company was described as showing a “unwillingness to move forward.” It was this hesitation that triggered the NHTSA to make the nationwide vehicles recall demand. Stay tuned to further news, as the issue is far from being solved!