Things are getting worse for Takata every day. Now a fourth automaker is giving the Japanese air bag supplier the boot. Monday, Ford announced that it won’t use certain Takata air bag components in future vehicles. Honda, Toyota, and Nissan also recently dumped Takata in wake of the massive air bag recall.
The problem is that Takata supplied automakers with faulty inflators that can explode. If that happens, shrapnel can fly into the cabin and hit occupants. The defective air bags are linked to eight deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide. All of the deaths were in Honda vehicles.
According to the Associated Press, a Ford spokesperson says the company will stop using Takata air bag inflaters that contain ammonium nitrate as a propellant in any products that are under development. Safety experts believe the chemical can degrade over time, especially in hot, humid conditions.
As of now, Ford’s recalled about 1.5 million cars due to the faulty inflators. The models include the 2005-2015 Mustang, 2004-2006 Ranger and 2005-2006 GT.
Overall, 19 million vehicles from 12 automakers have been recalled in the U.S. However, it’s been slow going. The recall is just so big that there aren’t enough replacement parts available. As of Oct. 9, less than a quarter of the recalled inflators had been replaced. Regulators are working to speed things up, especially in high-humidity priority states like Florida.
The U.S. government recently fined Takata $70 million for not properly disclosing the defect.