Everyone but VW and Tesla Has Recalled Their Takata Airbags
21 August 2015 - Autoblog
Takata's massive airbag inflator recall affected over 32 million vehicles from 11 automakers in the US, but two companies buying the supplier's parts haven't been affected so far: Volkswagen and Tesla.
There are 887,055 VWs and 184,926 Teslas using Takata's inflators with ammonium-nitrate propellant, a new accounting shows, according to Automotive News. That doesn't necessarily mean the models need to be recalled.
These figures came from a report that Takata prepared for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which listed all of the vehicles it supplied with ammonium nitrate-fueled inflators. The substance is believed to be linked with the components' rupturing, along with manufacturing defects and humidity. "We're not asking because we've got reports of problems; we just need to figure out what the universe is," NHTSA spokesman Gordon Trowbridge said to Automotive News.
Takata reportedly told Tesla that the inflators in its EVs are not affected with these problems, and VW is investigating a case in June where a side airbag allegedly burst in a 2015 Tiguan, Automotive News reports. The government is also still researching the precise cause of the parts' ruptures. If the investigation finds ammonium nitrate to be a factor, the vehicles could need recalled.
During a Congressional hearing Takata vice president Kevin Kennedy admitted that ammonium nitrate could be among the factors of the ruptures, but the company has continued to use the chemical in its inflators. Takata is now working to transition to a different propellant.