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From Products Liability Law Daily, October 23, 2014

Rep. Upton joins NHTSA in urging vehicle owners to act on Takada air bag recalls

By Pamela C. Maloney, J.D.

In response to the news that the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission had increased from 4.7 million to 7.8 million the number of vehicles affected by recent recalls of Takata airbags, Senator Fred Upton (R-Mich), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has urged owners of recalled vehicles to get their cars fixed. The air bags were recalled because they could rupture, leading to severe injuries.

“Recalls continue to mount across the country, and drivers are losing confidence. The first priority must be to ensure that all cars on the road are safe, and I urge drivers to heed NHTSA’s warnings and act immediately to get their vehicles fixed. We also need to take a close look at this airbag issue and the timeline and scope of the recalls to ensure that the appropriate steps are being taken to protect drivers and their families. I’ve long said that when it comes to vehicle safety, there can be no margin for error,” Upton said.

A recent NHTSA press release broke down the number of vehicles affected by the recall as follows: (1) Honda – 5,051,364; (2) Toyota – 877,000; (3) Nissan – 694,626; (4) BMW – 627,615; (5) Chrysler – 371,309; (6) Mazda – 64,872; (7) Ford – 58,669; (8) Subaru – 17,516; and (9) Mitsubishi – 11,985. At the beginning of the week, the number of General Motors vehicles affected was listed at 133,221; however the agency revised that estimate, advising instead that the number of affected vehicles could not be determined.

Chairman Upton has been a leader on vehicle safety issues and was the author of the TREAD Act, which enhanced communication between auto manufacturers and regulators and increased NHTSA’s ability to collect and analyze information about safety defects. The committee this year has been conducting an extensive investigation into the General Motors ignition switch recall, and recently released a report detailing NHTSA’s failures in identifying the deadly problem. The investigation found NHTSA failed to act on evidence identifying the defect and lacked a technical understanding of advanced vehicle safety systems.

Drivers can visit SaferCar.gov to determine if their vehicle is affected by the airbag recalls. Committee staff has requested a briefing with NHTSA on the status of the Takata air bag recalls and will also be meeting with auto manufacturers to discuss supplier issues.

Companies: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A; Honda Motor Co., Mazda USA, BMW of North America, Nissan USA, Mitsubishi Motors North America, Subaru of America, Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Co.; General Motors, LLC; Takata Corp.

MainStory: TopStory IndustryNewsStory MotorVehiclesNews ProductRecallsNews NHTSANews

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