The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received word from BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota that they are recalling certain cars sold in regional areas where the weather is hot and humid. This comes as a result of NHTSA’s engineers reviewing six separate occurrences of airbags rupturing. Airbag inflator ruptures, with shrapnel causing personal injuries, occurred in Florida and Puerto Rico. NHTSA believes that hot and humid weather can potentially affect the air bags. Takata’s CEO has agreed that the airbags could have been damaged by moisture. Millions of vehicles have already been the subject of recall notices (there were 30 instances of personal injuries and two deaths) and there is a strong possibility that the automakers will recall more before the investigation is complete.
The June 23, 2014, New York Times has an extensive report, Now the Air Bags Are Faulty, Too, on the history of these air bag failure-based recalls and includes reporting on injuries and deaths. One of the injury cases details carotid artery damage and subsequent surgeries and stroke as a result of a spontaneous air bag canister rupture with metal shards. Here are the NHTSA statement and the June 11 Report. The Florida Times-Union published a related report: Hot states at front of air bag recall.
Honda, Mazda and Nissan are Recalling Three Million Cars for Defective Airbags
Toyota Recalling Vehicles for Defective Airbags
Millions of Airbags Recalled