GREENSBORO, N.C. - Right now out of every seven cars with recalled Takata airbags – the government says only one has been fixed. Leaving about 60 million vehicles with airbags that could malfunction by shooting metal into someone’s face.
What takes so long is that there are not enough replacement parts to go around yet because the recall is so massive.
The government's plan is to use the limited amounts of available replacement parts to fix the cars most at risk first. And repair the rest when manufactures make more.
"This phased approach is supported by scientific data, and will help to ensure the most dangerous inflators are targeted first while making sure that all affected inflators are replaced on an aggressive schedule,” National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration’s Administrator Mark Rosekind said.
But U.S. Senator Edward Markey from Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut are concerned about Takata. And the company possibly going bankrupt. Writing in a letter to the company and NHTSA: "any finical shakeup may impact Takata's "ability to design and deploy safe replacements for the defective airbags."
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW:
In the meantime, you can ask for a loaner car while you wait to have the recall fixed. The dealer is required to either buy-back the car or replace a vehicle they can’t fix. They’re NOT required to offer a temporary replacement car. But the people who are squeaky wheels get the loan cars. Go in and complain nicely both in person and in writing. Several times. Saying that you can’t use your car for the intended purposes.
Still attorneys involved in Takata suits like Kevin Dean from South Carolina say there's always someone to hold responsible even in Takata falls apart.
"Regardless if Takata goes bankrupt or not, the auto manufacturer has a responsible to make sure the care is safe and to repair it," Dean said.
It could just take more time for the auto maker to find someone else to build the replacement parts.
The senators gave an October 14th deadline for Takata and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to respond. We've also reached out to them. Takata hasn't responded. But the government wrote back "Takata's planned restructuring does not change the responsibility of both the company and auto manufacturers to carry out the inflator recalls."
And we want to note here that Takata isn't the only company churning out replacements. Still the senators are concerned that any reduction in production makes you less safe.
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