Many Defective Takata Airbags Still Not Repaired

Millions of vehicle owners are still waiting for automakers to provide replacements for their dangerous Takata airbags, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continues to urge automakers to speed up the process.

In the largest automotive recall in history, 19 automakers have so far recalled 37 million vehicles with 50 million Takata airbags that have been linked to 23 deaths and hundreds of injuries worldwide. The Takata airbags in question contain the chemical compound ammonium nitrate, which is used as a propellant that is housed in a canister in the steering wheel or behind the passenger dash, rapidly generating gas to inflate the airbag cushion during a crash. Ammonium nitrate is volatile and highly sensitive to moisture and heat which can cause the chemical to create too much pressure too quickly and rupture the metal canister, spewing metal fragments into the vehicle and occupants.