Just a couple months after Takata recalled more than 30 million vehicles for defective airbags that can explode in an accident, a June incident involving a 2015 Volkswagen (VW) Tiguan has captured the attention of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In June, a Takata side airbag in a 2015 Tiguan SUV violently erupted after the vehicle collided with a deer near St. Louis, Missouri. It marks the first Takata-related incident involving VW, which was not included in the original recall. It was also the first incident in a newer-model vehicle.
It is believed that this incident is unrelated to other Takata incidents in which vehicles a decade or older have been recalled. Tests of the exploding airbags have revealed that over time, after exposure to heat and moisture in high-humidity areas, the ammonium nitrate in the inflators in the airbags can break down, causing them to explode violently.
The VW incident draws into question the safety of Takata airbags. Two U.S. Senators have issued a letter to Takata asking the company to voluntarily recall all of its airbags and to publicly release all company results from tests performed on the airbags. The senators are members of the Senate committee on commerce, science and transportation, which has held hearings on the Takata airbag recalls.
The NHTSA has begun investigating the June VW incident and has requested the manufacturer provide information about that incident and any other Takata-related events the company has encountered as well as a list of vehicles that have airbags that use ammonium nitrate.
The NHTSA also issued its fourth special order to Takata asking it to provide a report identifying all airbags that use ammonium nitrate inflators and which manufacturers they have been sold to.
If you have been a victim of an exploding Takata airbag, our personal injury lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve.