Jan 24, 2020

Nearly 16 million recalled Takata airbags remain unrepaired

Four years after the federal government recalled tens of millions of Takata airbags for dangerous defects, about 28% of those vehicles remain unrepaired.

Why it matters: The Takata airbag recall is the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history, with roughly 56 million defective airbags recalled in approximately 41.6 million vehicles.

  • When deployed, they can blast sharp metal fragments at drivers and passengers, resulting in serious injury or death, even in a minor crash.

By the numbers: In an update posted this week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said more than 7 million airbags were fixed over the past year, bringing the total repaired so far to 36 million.

  • 11 carmakers report repair completion rates of 70% or better.

Yes, but: Approximately 15.9 million defective airbags remain unrepaired.

  • Many of the remaining vehicles in the field are older, not with the original owner, and inherently more difficult to reach, NHTSA said.
  • At least 16 people have been killed, and more than 300 seriously injured, by the defective airbags.

To find out if your car's airbag is affected, go to www.AirbagRecall.com or download the free Airbag Recall app.

Go deeper: Government agencies collide over airwaves for road safety tech

Go deeper

Self-driving cars are getting their own rules

Nuro's R2 has no occupants, mirrors or windshield. Photo: Courtesy of Nuro

Regulators are starting to rewrite rules for self-driving cars to share the road with traditional vehicles.

The big picture: Automated test vehicles are allowed on public roads in some states — so long as they comply with existing safety standards written for human-driven vehicles.

Self-driving vehicle law hits a speed bump

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Lawmakers working to speed a federal framework for autonomous vehicles into law face a key obstacle that stymied previous attempts: who gets sued in collisions.

The big picture: Manufacturers and tech companies want federal rules of the road for their roll-out of self-driving vehicles. But trial lawyers, a powerful lobby, want key questions on liability in a driverless world answered before legislation advances.

Feds clear the way for Nuro's driverless deliveries

Nuro's second-generation delivery vehicle, R2. Photo courtesy of Nuro

The U.S. Transportation Department is giving its regulatory blessing to the first autonomous vehicle with no steering wheel, pedals or human occupant.

Why it matters: Vehicle safety standards were written for today's cars and trucks, mostly to protect humans riding inside them. By granting an exemption to Nuro's self-driving delivery vans, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is beginning to pave the way for the driverless era.