Investigation Closed Into Airbag Recalls Issued by 5 Automakers

Safety regulators believe recalls of 2.8 million non-azide driver inflators were adequate.

Investigation Closed Into Airbag Recalls Issued by 5 Automakers

Posted in Investigations

— The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has closed an investigation into several airbag recalls from BMW, Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Volkswagen.

While millions of Takata airbags were recalled because they contained the explosive ammonium nitrate which was unstable, non-azide driver inflators were also recalled.

The NADI airbags could be affected by defective foil seals which allowed moisture to enter the airbag inflators.

The inflators did not contain ammonium nitrate, but moisture could cause slow airbag deployment or a violent inflator rupture.

The five automakers recalled vehicles equipped with NADI-equipped airbags capable of sending shrapnel into occupants.

The defective inflators were produced between May 1, 1995, and August 31, 1999.

NHTSA determined all manufacturers except Mitsubishi confirmed their recalls included those vehicles that may have received the NADI airbags in conjunction with a service repair procedure.

But Mitsubishi said it does not intend to expand its recall to include vehicles equipped with service airbags even though Takata’s records show Mitsubishi received 80 airbags containing defective NADI inflators for service parts.

Mitsubishi told NHTSA service records are no longer available to confirm the use of the 80 NADI-containing airbags, however, they believe the NADI-containing airbags were likely installed as service parts in early-production vehicles that were already recalled.

NHTSA has closed its investigation into the NADI airbag recalls performed by the five automakers.