Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The homegrown defective airbags

Since I own a Honda vehicle, I've been paying a little more attention than I normally would to an automotive story that keeps bubbling up with worse and worse news. The Japanese company Takata manufactures airbags that have injured or killed a number of people worldwide. It seems that the malfunctioning airbags can explode and rupture, sending metal shards out — essentially making the airbag more of a grenade than anything else.

Not all of Tanaka's airbags are prone to this failure. However, as I learned in a New York Times article about a possible expanded Japanese car recall, "Problems with driver’s-side airbag inflaters have been found in units made in a Takata plant in LaGrange, Ga., that is now closed." And "problems with the passenger-side units involved the amount of propellant used and the way the inflaters were handled and stored, carmakers said. Those units were made in Washington State and Mexico."

How ironic, that this furor which is seemingly over Japanese cars has its roots in our own country. I guess we're back to the 1980s, when Japanese manufacturing was ascendant while American-made goods, notably cars, suffered from mediocre quality.

No comments:

Post a Comment