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Lawmakers call for expanded Takata airbag inflator recall

Some Pennsylvania drivers with airbag inflators in their cars manufactured by Takata may soon have their vehicles included in a recall if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration responds to calls to widen the recall's scope. On Feb. 23, a Senate committee said there was evidence that Takata knew about the problems and attempted to cover them up. Additionally, 10 automakers said the problems with the airbag inflators were due to the use of ammonium nitrate, issues with design and manufacturing, and humidity. Over 100 injuries and 10 deaths have been attributed to the faulty inflators.

Takata has continued producing inflators made with ammonium nitrate, and there is concern that they are replacing the old, faulty airbag inflators with new ones that are equally dangerous. The NHTSA has said that it previously warned that the inflators were unlikely to last as long as the car and that the incidents all happened with inflators that were seven years old or more.

However, managers at Takata factories described a number of problems with quality failure at plants in North America. The scope of these problems mean that it is difficult to identify which inflators are dangerous.

Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that the products they make are safe. When consumers are injured or killed by those products, the manufacturers may be liable. Attorneys might point out that evidence that the company was aware of the problems or had issues with quality control might be significant if a person who was injured or the family of a person wishes to file a products liability lawsuit against the company.

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