Nissan joins Toyota, Honda to drop Takata airbag inflators


Nissan Motor Corporations has stopped usage of airbag inflators by Takata Corporations, a Japanese auto parts supplier for its automobile making it the third to have stopped patronage of the deficient safety device.

The issue involves defective inflator and propellent devices that may deploy improperly in the event of a crash, shooting metal fragments into vehicle occupants. Approximately 34 million vehicles are potentially affected in the United States, and another seven million have been recalled worldwide.

Toyota Motor Corporation and Honda Motor Company had earlier decided to stop using Takata’s inflators that have led to extensive recalls around the world.

“We have decided to no longer use (Takata’s) inflators containing ammonium nitrate in airbags for future models,” Nissan said in a statement.

“We will continue to put our customers’ safety first and work to replace the inflators in vehicles under recall as quickly as possible,” it said.

U.S. auto safety regulators have said Takata’s inflators containing ammonium nitrate may cause airbags to explode with excessive force, spraying shrapnel in the vehicle.

More than 30 million cars have been recalled worldwide since 2008 over the Takata airbag inflators.

Defective inflators have been linked to eight deaths and more than 100 injuries.

Nissan said on Monday it would carry out a repeat inspection of vehicles in Japan which had initially been cleared of airbag defects after a passenger was injured when her Takata airbags deployed during a collision last week.

Initially, only six makes were involved when Takata announced the fault in April 2013, but a Toyota recall in June this year—along with new admissions from Takata that it had little clue as to which cars used its defective inflators, or even what the root cause was—prompted more automakers to issue identical recalls.

In July, NHTSA forced additional regional recalls in high-humidity areas including Florida, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to gather removed parts and send them to Takata for review.

Another major recall issued on October 20 expanded the affected vehicles across several brands.

For its part, Toyota said it would begin to replace defective passenger-side inflators starting October 25; if parts are unavailable, however, it has advised its dealers to disable the airbags and affix “Do Not Sit Here” messages to the dashboard.

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