Daimler AG chairman of the board Dr Dieter Zetscher speaks at CES 2015 David Becker, Getty Images

Daimler AG chairman of the board Dr. Dieter Zetscher speaks at CES 2015.

Mercedes, Daimler, VW All Hit in Takata Airbag Recall

This latest recalls are just a drop in the proverbial bucket of a crisis for Takata and the driving public that has led to at least 10 deaths and 20 million replaced airbags.

More than 800,000 Mercedes-Benz and Daimler vehicles, and almost 700,000 Volkswagens are loaded with potentially defective Takata airbags, according to official announcements from German automakers Daimler AG and VW.

In just the latest recall involving Takata airbags, which can rupture and send shrapnel into occupants of a car, Daimler said about 705,000 Mercedes-Benz cars and 136,000 Daimler vans are affected. Volkswagen, meanwhile, will recall 680,000 cars in the United States, all of them 2006-14 Passats, Golfs and Eoses.

Another VW brand, the up-market Audi marque, might also be affected but “we are still in consultation with the American authorities,” a spokesman said. 

At least 10 deaths, including nine in the United States, have been tied to the faulty airbags. Automakers worldwide have been forced to recall more than 20 million cars to have the airbags replaced.

Last week, Honda recalled 2.2 million cars equipped with Investigators suspect that the airbag inflators and the propellant inside can deteriorate, especially in consistently hot and humid conditions, causing them to misfire.

Last week, Honda recalled 2.2 million cars equipped with Takata airbags at risk of rupturing; and last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration called the issue “a massive safety crisis.”

Takata, which has been accused of covering up the problem for years, was fined $200 million by the NHTSA in November for providing inadequate and inaccurate information about the airbags, and for failing to recall them quickly once it became aware of the problem.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016

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