Yes, the new expanding Takata recalls just keep coming. Now GM is recalling 200,000 Saab and Saturn vehicles to fix faulty airbags that can explode and send shrapnel flying.
It’s part of a much wider recall involving more than 5 million autos with potentially defective Takata PSDI-5 front driver-side airbag inflators. In all, we’re talking 180,000 of the new GM models in the U.S., with another 20,000 in Canada.
Here are the models:
- 2003-2011 Saab 9-3
- 2010-2011 Saab 9-5
- 2008-2009 Saturn Astras
So far, at least ten deaths are linked to the defective airbags, all but one in a Honda vehicle. The other occurred last December in a 2006 Ford Ranger.
The problem is that the airbags explode with too much force and send metal parts flying into cabins. Investigators believe the chemical compound ammonium nitrate is to blame and that it explodes in heat and humidity. According to a recent New York Times article, Takata introduced the compound into its airbags around 2000, the time its airbags started failing internal tests. Those testing failures went unreported by the company.
Last week, the three largest German automakers, Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW, each recalled about 850,000 vehicles with the same inflator as the vehicles in the GM recall.
Takata said last month that inflators in more than 5 million additional vehicles were defective and that more recalls would be coming.