Report: Nearly 17M Faulty Takata Air Bags Still in Use

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​Dec. 26, 2018—Despite years of recalls involving faulty Takata air bag inflators, one third of the recalled inflators have yet to be replaced.

According to an annual report on recalls released late last week by the government, recall repair rates across 19 automakers involved in the recalls increased 30 percent over the course of the past 12 months (as verified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). But the report indicates that 16.7 million faulty inflators out of the 50 million under recall have yet to be replaced, according to the Associated Press.

The Takata air bag devices use the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion that inflates the air bags. But inflators have been found to explode with too much force, firing shrapnel at drivers and passengers. At least 23 people have been killed worldwide due to the problem.

The inflators grow more dangerous as they age, due to the fact that ammonium nitrate deteriorates thanks to high humidity and cycles from hot temperatures to cold.

"More exposure over more time to high heat and humidity further degrades the Takata inflator's phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate compound, making it more porous, more volatile and more prone to transform from a life-saving device to a life-threatening," the report says.​

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