Truck maker looks into airbag recall Thinkstock

Truck maker looks into airbag recall

The unprecedented airbag recall agreed to by Takata, under pressure from U.S. federal government watchdogs, may spread to the trucking industry.

Daimler Trucks North America, for one, may be impacted, although the company says the number of vehicles that might be involved is "small."

The recall affects some 34 million vehicles in the U.S. after Japan-based Takata acknowledged that its airbags could potentially explode, sending shrapnel into vehicle occupants. U.S. regulators have said that six people have died as a result globally and there have been more than 100 injured.

The full list of affected vehicles has not been released as automakers try to determine which of their products have Takata airbags installed.

According to the list of possibly affected manufacturers released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, along with Daimler Trucks, include BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru or Toyota.

“The safety of our products is our highest priority and we are following this matter closely,” said David Giroux, head of corporate communications and public relations for DTNA.  The company’s product line features Freightliner and Western Star trucks and Thomas Built buses.

Giroux noted DTNA is investigating “a very small population of potentially affected vehicles” referenced in the Takata notices.

According to the Dept. of Transportation, Takata has said a defect exists in its air bag inflators. NHTSA has also issued a “consent order” requiring Takata to cooperate in all future regulatory actions taken by the agency.

The Tuesday action expands what had been only a regional recall of airbags in vehicles only in areas of “high absolute humidity.”

NHTSA said there is no definite cause of the problem to date, but that moisture appears to be a factor.

“Over time, that moisture causes changes in the structure of the chemical propellant that ignites when an air bag deploys. The degraded propellant ignites too quickly, producing excess pressure that causes the inflator to rupture and sends metal shards into the passenger cabin that can lead to serious injury or death,” according to the government statement.

The website www.SaferCar.gov/RecallsSpotlight is dedicated to the recall for anyone interested in seeing if their vehicle may be included in the recall.

TAGS: News Safety
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