When members of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee asked Kevin Kennedy, the Takata executive vice president, about Takata’s continued use of ammonium nitrate in its airbags, the New York Times reported that Kennedy stated the propellant is safe when it is “properly manufactured and designed.” Kennedy's statement refers to one of the alterations Takata engineers have made to further stabilize the compound, thereby preventing it from breaking down.
Lawmakers expressed concern that Takata would continue to use the propellant that was responsible for at least six fatal accidents and over 100 deaths over all. None of Takata’s competitors use ammonium nitrate as the primary propellant in their airbags. While there is not general consensus as to the exact cause of the airbag defect, evidence that high humidity causes the airbags to deploy too forcefully is mounting.
According to National Highway Safety Administration administrator Mark Rosekind, the fact that Takata has admitted the defect at all represents “a first necessary step” for a company that denied responsibility for the issue back in December. Rosekind stated that he expected automakers to have sorted out which of their cars will fall under what will be the nation’s largest recall within two weeks.
If you have been injured by a defective airbag, you should speak with one of our defective airbag attorneys at the Willis Law Firm to begin assessing the legal action available to you. To discuss the particulars of your accident with one of our attorneys, please call our offices at 800-883-9858 today.