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Recalled Airbags Being Recycled in Crash-Affected Vehicles

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Santa Clara, CA Recalled airbags may be recycled as replacement airbags in vehicles that have been in accidents, according to a news report on the Kansas City news station, In an interview with KSHB, Carfax representative Christopher Basso states that it’s not uncommon to find recycled airbags used to replace deployed ones, which may be dangerous. Basso told KSHB that while recycled airbags may be less expensive, recalled airbags could potentially slip through the cracks and possibly be placed into repaired or used cars.

“Recycled airbags being used on the recall list could affect anybody anywhere and really underscores the importance of knowing if your car was in a crash when the airbag was deployed and needed to be replaced and what was needed to replace it,” Basso said.

In 2014, seven major automotive manufacturers issued recalls for faulty airbags in the US. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said at the time that BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota would recall cars sold in places where hot, humid weather can potentially affect the air bags. The automakers all have air bag systems made by Takata Corp., a Tokyo-based supplier of seat belts, air bags, steering wheels and other auto parts.

The older-model cars have air bag inflators that can rupture. If that happens, the air bags might not work properly in a crash, and shards from the broken system could fly out and cause injury, the Associated Press reports.

In February 2017, Takata Corporation agreed to pay $1 billion to settle multi-district litigation alleging the airbag manufacturer was aware of the fatal defect with its airbags but sold them anyway. At least 11 deaths have been linked to the airbags, which can explode due to a design defect.

In 2008, Honda issued a recall because its airbags opened with so much force that metal parts of the airbag assembly could blast through the airbag, injuring a passenger in contact with the airbag. In May 2011 the Honda airbag recall expanded to 833,000 vehicles that may have been equipped with a faulty airbag.

Meanwhile Hyundai issued a recall for 2007-2009 Elantra sedans for an airbag system sensor that could cause the airbags to open incorrectly, increasing the risk of injury to smaller passengers (i.e., women, children and the elderly) in the event of an accident.


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