Two U.S. Senators want Takata Corp. to recall all vehicles that contain its defective air bags. The two Senate Democrats made the request in an August 20 letter, pointing to NHTSA’s recent inquiry into a ruptured air bag inflator in the 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan. Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., also asked the Japanese auto parts maker for continuous updates on all the information it gathers from its air bag tests so it can be assessed by outside experts.
At a Senate hearing, the senators had raised concerns over the company’s continuing use of ammonium nitrate as a propellant. The lawmakers said in their letter:
It is well known that ammonium nitrate mixtures may become unstable when the substance becomes moist or accumulates moisture. Further, as Takata admitted in its written response, based on current testing results for a root cause, “all Takata [phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate]-based inflators, whether new or old, contain moisture.” Given this ubiquitous risk, it is deeply disturbing that Takata has now admitted that it is ‘unable to quantify as a single number the level of moisture [in its inflators] that is sufficient to cause safety concerns. This willful lack of transparency unnecessarily risks the lives of many American motorists.
Hopefully, other members of Congress will follow up and put pressure on Takata to do everything possible to bring this most unfortunate and tragic saga to a conclusion.
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