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Senate Report Reveals New Cars Being Sold With Faulty Takata Airbags

New car purchasers should be aware that current models could contain faulty airbags that are currently linked to 13 deaths. According to a Senate Commerce Committee report, at least four automakers — Toyota, Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler and Mitsubishi — are selling new vehicles with defective Takata airbags that will ultimately need to be recalled.

Under a consent order issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), new vehicles with high-risk Takata airbags without a drying agent used to absorb moisture would not need to be recalled by 2018. Even more concerning, automakers are not required to disclose that the vehicles contain the Takata airbags.

"What's troubling here is that consumers are buying new cars not realizing they're going to be recalled," U.S. Senator Bill Nelson stated upon releasing the report. "These cars shouldn't be sold until they're fixed."

As we have discussed on this San Diego Injury Blog, the defective Takata airbags are extremely dangerous because they can rupture and propel metal parts into the vehicle. The defect is linked to 13 deaths and more than 100 injuries, many of which were serious.

While researchers initially believed that the airbag issues were tied to high temperatures and humidity, new evidence has revealed that the Takata airbags can malfunction in other environments. In light of the new findings, NHTSA ordered the recall of 40 million more airbags in March.

To date, 14 automakers have recalled 60 million vehicles in the United States. Less than one-third of the faulty inflators have been fixed, in large part due to a lack of replacement parts. A shortage of replacement parts is also the primary reason why auto manufacturers keep installing recalled airbags in their newest models.

Several car manufacturers have disclosed which new models are being sold with Takata airbags. They include:

  • 2016 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
  • 2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
  • 2016 Volkswagen CC
  • 2016 Audi TT
  • 2017 Audi R8

However, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler have refused to identify the new models that contained the riskier airbags.

If you or someone you care about has suffered serious harm due to a dangerous or defective motor vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.