Automakers in the United States fixed over 7.2 million defective Takata air bag inflators in this year, as companies have ramped up efforts to track down parts in need of replacement, a report from an independent monitor published on Friday stated.
Out of 37 million vehicles with 50 million inflators under recall, 16.7 million air bag inflators are yet to be replaced. Average repair rates increased by 30 percent, stated deputy National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) chief Heidi King.
At least 23 deaths globally have been connected to the rupturing of defective Takata air bag inflators, about 15 in the United States. The issue has resulted in the largest auto industry safety recall in history, associating about 100 million inflators among 19 major automakers.
The issue is not going to be resolved any time soon as automakers will add close to 10 million extra inflators to the record-setting recalls in January, stated the report from monitor John Buretta.
Over 290 injuries globally have been associated to Takata inflators that can blow up, spraying metal shrapnel inside vehicles.
To this day, 21 deaths have been reported in Honda Motor vehicles and two in Ford Motor vehicles. Both automakers prompted some drivers of older vehicles not to drive them before they got inflators replaced.
Some automakers have canvassed neighborhoods in high-risk regions to try to discover unrepaired models. The report also discovered that letters from state motor vehicle agencies had helped dramatically increase completion rates.
Additional exposure of inflators to high heat and humidity deteriorate the inflators, making them more prone to fatal ruptures.
“There is still a challenging road to travel ahead, and the clock is ticking for drivers and passengers with faulty inflators still in their vehicles,” Buretta wrote.