Getty Images
Industryweek 11321 Fca Sign

Fiat Chrysler to End Use of Riskiest Takata Air-Bag Inflators

June 21, 2016
Those particular inflators were still being used because of a shortage of replacements.

NEW YORK—Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Tuesday it would end use of the most dangerous Takata air-bag inflators, which have been tied to at least 13 deaths and 100 injuries worldwide.

FCA US, the US arm of the Italian automaker, said that it will stop using Takata's non-desiccated ammonium-nitrate inflators in vehicles produced in North America by next week, and in global production by mid-September.

On June 1 US Senator Bill Nelson reported that at least four automakers in the United States continued to install non-desiccated Takata inflators in new cars even though research had shown that they are prone over time to eruptions that send shrapnel into vehicle occupants.

Those particular inflators were still being used because of a shortage of desiccated inflator replacements. The automakers--Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, Volkswagen and Mitsubishi--will still have to recall those cars and replace the high-risk inflators when desiccated inflators become available.

"Unsold vehicles that are so-equipped will be identified for customers," FCA said in a statement. "These customers will also be advised that the vehicles will be recalled in the future. They are not currently subject to recall."

The automakers maintain the non-desiccated inflators remain safe while still new. US authorities say the problem is that, especially in high-heat and high-humidity environments, those deflators degrade over several years and become prone to eruption. 

Nelson, a senior member of the Senate Commerce Committee which has investigated Takata, said on June 1 that the use of the risky airbag inflators is legal, but that it is being done without consumers' knowledge.

"These cars shouldn't be sold until they’re fixed," he said.

Suspecting that the chemical used itself is a problem, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration still wants the Japanese auto parts maker to demonstrate that even desiccated ammonium nitrate-based inflators are safe.

In May it ordered Takata to boost research into the safety of those inflators.

"Absent proof that the desiccated inflators are safe, Takata will be required to recall them" as well, it said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2016

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Gain a competitive edge with real-world lessons on private 5G networks

Nov. 16, 2023
The use of private networks in manufacturing applications is rapidly growing. In this paper, we present valuable insights and lessons learned from the field with the goal of enhancing...

Discover How an Eye Tracking Study Improves Training Procedures

Oct. 29, 2023
Did you know that your training processes can be streamlined by visualizing and analyzing key skills within your employee base? Find out how we use eye tracking to capture advanced...

Smarter Savings for Manufacturers - Guide

Sept. 12, 2023
Enhance your service experiences and boost revenue while reducing costs. Learn how one platform can help your business be more agile and productive in today's market.

3D Printing a More Efficient Factory Floor

Nov. 16, 2023
Today’s additive manufacturing platforms make it simple to print a wide range of high-performing industrial parts as soon as possible and right where you need them — unlocking...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!