Takata, a Japanese airbag supplier, filed for bankruptcy in 2017 after admitting wrongdoing in a series of safety recalls,media CNET reported. Yet the company’s problems continue. Bloomberg reported Thursday that the U.S. Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has asked the U.S. company that has acquired Takata Inc. (KSS) to certify by December 31 that the new chemical desiccant used to replace airbags is safe for motorists.
NHTSA had no immediate comment.
The problem could affect 100 million airbags, another huge blow to automakers. Takata and the U.S. Department of Justice have previously settled settlements over the original problems found in the airbags that left many people dead and injured. In 2015, Takata air bag booster pumps using ammonium nitrate were phased out.
However, equipment using new chemical desiccants has never been recalled as automakers study their long-term performance. So far, automakers have independently tested the safety of the chemical desiccant. Honda recalled 1.1 million vehicles in March to replace airbags fitted with the desiccant.
Earlier this month, Takata said 1.4 million vehicles with faulty airbags were in urgent need of recalls, prompting NHTSA to make new demands. The new batch of automotive airbags may not contain stable propellants. The failure of the propellant to moisture may cause the airbag to explode or under-inflate and spray debris into the passenger. The incident resulted in death in Australia. A BMW 3 Series owner has died from a newly discovered safety problem with Takata airbags.