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From Products Liability Law Daily, July 16, 2018

NHTSA pressures automakers to publicize Takata airbag replacement strategies

By Colleen Kave, J.D.

According to a news release late last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has requested that automakers affected by the Takata airbag recall make public their respective plans for replacing all defective airbags in their vehicles. The Takata airbag recall, the largest and most complex vehicle recall in the nation’s history, involves an estimated 37 million vehicles in the United States, approximately 50 million airbags, and 19 vehicle manufacturers. NHTSA believes that publicizing replacement plans will support effective recall implementation and help to ensure that the dangerous defective airbags are replaced as soon as possible (NHTSA News Release, July 13, 2018).

NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King has met with affected automakers, urging each one to accelerate their remedy for defective Takata airbags and requesting that the plans include innovative methodologies for maximizing recall completion rates. The agency is also increasing its own efforts to improve airbag recall remedy completion rates. In cooperation with the Independent Monitor of Takata and the Coordinated Remedy Program, NHTSA has engaged in direct consumer outreach and coalition building in key high-risk areas. In 2017, NHTSA launched a geo-targeted campaign in the eight highest risk areas to increase public awareness in those locations about the dangers associated with the defective airbags. Additionally, the agency employs its dedicated Takata Recall Spotlight website, Facebook, and Twitter to keep consumers informed on the current status of the recalls.

NHTSA plans to continue supporting the Takata Independent Monitor’s localized Operation Find and Fix repair pilot programs in high-risk communities. These pilots, which will take place through the fall, give vehicles in high-risk regions first priority for replacement parts.

MainStory: TopStory NHTSANews MotorVehiclesNews MotorEquipmentNews

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