Just as this issue was being sent to the printer we learned that NHTSA has told Volkswagen America and six other automakers – none a part of the current Takata air bag recall – that the agency may expand the recall as it reviews the root causes behind the deadly rupture of the Japanese parts maker’s inflators. NHTSA disclosed the possibility of a broader recall that could involve different types of vehicles and inflators in separate letters to the seven automakers that use Takata Corp. inflators with an ammonium-nitrate propellant. NHTSA sent letters to Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Suzuki Motor of America Inc., Volvo Trucks NA, Spartan Motors Inc., Mercedes-Benz US LLC, Jaguar Land Rover North America LLC and Tesla Motors Inc.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will hold a public hearing this month to address its findings relating to Takata Corp. air bags. This most likely caused NHTSA to let the additional automakers know the recall may be expanded. The agency initiated measures earlier this year to accelerate the recall of millions of vehicles containing the airbags. The agency has plans to hold the hearing on Oct. 22 to address information the agency says it “gathered since launching the coordinated remedy proceeding in May.”
It’s encouraging to see NHTSA being more aggressive and as a result doing a better job of “regulating” the automobile industry. Now if Congress will do its part with better funding and passage of needed legislation, good regulation of the industry will become a reality.
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