By James Raia
The Takata airbag issue just won’t go away. This time the Japanese supplier of safety equipment to many domestic and international brands is facing a recall of Nissan trucks, SUVs and vans.
The Nissan recall covers about 250,000 Nissan NV Cargo and Passenger vans from 2012 to 2017, the 2013 to 2015 Titan, a Nissan truck, Armada large SUV, and the 2011 and 2012 Infiniti QX56 SUV.
Projectile shrapnel is the problem. The vehicles have airbags with volatile ammonium nitrate that can explode with too much force. The airbags have a moisture-absorbing chemical that was supposed to make them safe.
Documents posted by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) detail that Takata packed in too much ammonium nitrate propellant while manufacturing the inflators.
Nissan will notify owners later this month and dealers will replace the front driver airbag inflator with one made by a different company.
Takata had until the end of last year to prove that the inflators with the drying agent were safe, or NHTSA was to order them all to be recalled.
So far, at least 25 people have died worldwide after being hit by shrapnel from Takata airbag inflators, and more than 300 have been injured.
The Takata airbag recall has affected virtually all major automakers and forced the Japanese company into bankruptcy in July 2017.
James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, Calif., offers a weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter, both available via free sign-ups on his website: www.theweeklydriver.com. He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.