Automotive airbag manufacturer Takata may have hidden knowledge of airbag defects for over a decade, becoming a fatal issue. In the past few months, 11 different automakers have more than 14 million vehicles in relation to airbag rupture risks. The risks mentioned are caused by the steel canisters in airbags cracking, which can lead to a rupture that throw metal fragments towards passengers and drivers when the device deploys. The recent recalls have been tied to 4 deaths. Takata stated in regulatory filings that it began testing airbags for this issue in November 2008, but former employees of Takata admit to being involved in tests on the same issue in 2004, which Takata never filed.
The steel canisters house a propellant compound commonly found in fertilizer that helps to inflate the airbag when it is triggered. Automakers have received complaints that total in 139 injuries regarding the airbag malfunction, 37 of which reported the airbags rupturing and spewing chemicals or metal fragments. Takata supplies approximately one fifth of all airbags on the global market, and automakers have come forward stating their concerns that Takata is at fault when it comes to their malfunctioning airbags.