The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has decided about 56 million Takata airbag inflators won’t be recalled as planned, a decision which quickly got the attention of safety advocates.
About 19 automakers won’t be forced to replace the Takata airbag inflators after an independent company studied the lifespan of airbag inflators equipped with chemical drying agents.
An independent aerospace company associated with Northrop Grumman tested the desiccated inflators to simulate 30 years of aging and allegedly found no problems. Investigators did find the heat and humidity of Florida may decrease the lifespan of the inflators and vehicles in that state will need to be monitored more closely.
Takata was supposed to recall up to 56 million airbag inflators by the end of 2019 unless the company could prove the airbags were safe. Unlike most of the deaths and injuries caused by Takata inflators, the newest inflators contain drying agents called dessicants.