Airbags recall doubles in Nigeria, others
THE ongoing challenge with vehicle Airbags which have been responsible for no fewer than five deaths globally seem to be taken a serious dimension as automotive manufacturers continue to recall possibly affected cars.
Major manufacturer of airbags, Takata told The New York Times that manufacturing problems, together with exposure to moisture in cars in humid regions, can cause the propellant to degrade.
This can make the propellant burn too strongly when the airbag is deployed, rupturing the inflater and sending metal fragments into the car’s interior and injuring the driver or passengers.
Admitting for the first time, Takata is to double the recall of US cars using its potentially deadly airbags to a record nearly 34 million vehicles.
Toyota Nigeria Limited (TNL) has also said the inflator modules of the airbags of two of the Toyota models – Yaris and Hilux – it sold could be faulty and has requested owners of these vehicles to prepare to turn them in for repairs, news reports have shown.
Some of the Toyota brands are particularly the Toyota Yaris manufactured between 2003 and 2005 and the Toyota Hilux manufactured between 2003 and 2007.
Managing Director of Toyota Nigeria Limited, Kunle Ade-Ojo, said they had to embark on this special service campaign after being informed of the development by Toyota Motor Company (TMC), Japan last week.
Ade-ojo stated: “We vigorously advertise, in the newspapers, of the need of buying your vehicle from Toyota Nigeria Limited authorised dealers.
What we have records of are those brought in by TNL that we can treat accordingly.
Any vehicle that has been brought through the grey market will have limited support. The only way it can have support perhaps is when the manufacturer says such person bought the vehicle to your market. Priority will be given to our customers.”
Airbags work through pellets of a propellant based on ammonia nitrate, a common compound used in fertilizer, which are ignited and generate the nitrogen gas that inflates the airbag in a fraction of a second In reaction to the global issue, Takata had entered into a Consent Order with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to take action to address public safety concerns involved in NHTSA’s investigation of Takata airbag inflators.
In a release made available on the official website of the organization, the Chairman of Takata, Shigehisa Takada stated: “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with NHTSA, which presents a clear path forward to advancing safety and restoring the trust of automakers and the driving public.
“We have worked extensively with NHTSA and our automaker customers over the past year to collect and analyze a multitude of testing data in an effort to support actions that work for all parties and, most importantly, advance driver safety.
We are committed to continuing to work closely with NHTSA and our automaker customers to do everything we can to advance the safety of drivers.
Takasa noted that though the firm has devoted tremendous resources to it efforts with leading researchers in a bid to curb the problem but that the challenge remained a complex issue, which takes time to be fully evaluated.
It would be advisable that the Nigerian Federal Road Safety Commission and other related bodies, which have been criticised several for it corruption and negligence to core duty to wake up to ensure that lives are safe on the highways.
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