Nissan to Check Takata Airbags in Japan Again After Injury
3 November 2015 - Automotive News
Nissan Motor Co. said it would carry out a repeat inspection of vehicles in Japan which had initially been cleared of airbag defects after a passenger was injured when her Takata Corp. airbag deployed during a collision last week.
Nissan said that the vehicle involved in the accident, a 2006 X-Trail SUV, had been included on a recall list earlier this year due to concerns about its passenger side airbag, but was found not to contain any moisture leaks when the vehicle was brought in for inspection.
More than 30 million cars have been recalled worldwide since 2008 over Takata airbag inflators that have erupted with too much force, spraying shrapnel inside the car. Defective inflators have been linked to eight deaths and more than 100 injuries.
Nissan said the vehicle in question had been among 320,000 whose owners had been offered a recall in May. Of those, 113,000 vehicles were actually brought in for inspections, and 102,000 were deemed to be fit for purpose and returned to owners.
Following the collision, the passenger was treated in hospital for injuries to her wrist and head caused by small, sharp metal objects which Nissan said appeared to be part of the airbag's container.
"We will contact the owners of those cleared vehicles to request that they bring in their vehicles for a second inspection," Tsutomu Miyashita, Nissan's general manager field quality assurance, told reporters.
Takata said it was looking into the incident.
"We have been informed by Nissan about the incident, and we are in the process of confirming whether one of our airbags was the cause of the injury," said a Takata spokeswoman.
Nissan has been testing individual vehicles for air leakage, which can result in a build-up of moisture around the airbag's seal and cause them to explode. Replacements are ordered for vehicles found to contain these leaks.
U.S. regulators have been advising automakers to replace airbags for all vehicles of a certain make and year if a leak is found in one of those vehicles during inspections.