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Another Takata Airbag Recall

Consumer Reports writes that Takata's airbag problem makes for the largest recall in U.S. history - and the latest news is another more than three million defective inflators in roughly 40 million cars affecting 2009, 2010, and 2013 models of various brands.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been overseeing the ongoing saga, issuing smaller recalls in stages, based on the perceived risk to drivers and passengers.

Who is most at risk?

Drivers and passengers most at risk - at least in the context of this latest publicized recall - are those whose vehicles inhabit hotter and more humid areas of the U.S., as well as older Takata airbags.

We've written about this problem in recent years. It seems as though every major automaker is affected. Italian automaker Ferrari issued recalls in 2015. Prior to that, in 2014, the automotive industry had already been facing heat over defective Takata airbags, complete with a Senate inquiry.

What's wrong with the airbags?

As many as three years ago - long enough when you consider that this problem risks the lives of drivers and passengers - Sen. Claire McCaskill was saying: "I find it troubling [...] that we find ourselves examining another example of manufacturers' failure to fulfill safety obligations that could have saved lives."

In short, the airbags can spray shrapnel into drivers and passengers when they inflate. That is at the heart of the defect. For those airbags part of this latest recall, heat and humidity (or advanced age) can cause the propellant to degrade and the airbag explode with far more force than normal, spraying shrapnel.

Learn more about the Takata airbag recall:

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