January 23, 2020
Today, NHTSA and the Independent Takata Monitor released a third report on the state of the Takata air bag recalls.
In 2019, there were 7.5 million additional repairs of defective air bag inflators. For Priority Groups 1 through 9, 11 vehicle manufacturers reported total completion percentages of at least 70%, four of at least 80%, and one over 90%. As of December 2019, there were more than 41 million vehicles under recall for approximately 56 million defective Takata air bag inflators. These air bags can explode when deployed, causing serious injury or even death. Sixteen people in the United States have been killed by defective Takata air bags, and at least 250 have allegedly been injured.
In January 2020, Takata and vehicle manufacturers are scheduled to submit the remaining defect information reports under the Takata Coordinated Remedy Program. These will recall the remaining “like-for-like” inflators—Takata inflators previously used to repair older recalled Takata inflators as an interim remedy. Accordingly, by January 2020, all non-desiccated Takata PSAN air bag inflators will be under recall.
Highlights of the 2019 update:
- The completion percentage for vehicles in Priority Groups 1–3 (the oldest vehicles in the highest-risk areas) increased approximately 7%. The completion percentage for vehicles in Priority Groups 4–10 increased approximately 13%.
- Recall completion can be sustained through a strategic combination of successful strategies, as informed by years of recall initiatives undertaken by affected vehicle manufacturers—even for recalls as mature as the Takata recalls.
- State DMVs continued to support outreach efforts through participation in letter-mailing campaigns, with increases in incremental repairs from 161% to as high as 348%. Twenty-three states have partnered, or have agreed to partner, with vehicle manufacturers to send letters to affected vehicle owners. Manufacturers also engaged with other state and local agencies to conduct similar campaigns. A recent campaign with the Compton Water District resulted in increases in incremental repair percentages similar to that of the State DMV campaigns.
- Third-party stakeholders, including the insurance industry, play an important role in improving recall completion. In one manufacturer/insurance company collaboration, letters sent to insured owners with unrepaired vehicles resulted in 17 times the expected completion percentage from typical letter outreach.