The company has reportedly filed a series of four defect information reports with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), declaring both driver and passenger air bag inflators to be defective in the vehicles.
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According to a report by CNN, engineers at Takata first noticed problems with the chemical mix used in its airbags over a decade ago. The problem has to do with aspirin-sized Ammonium nitrate tablets that are put in a metal canister inside the airbag, and are designed to produce a gas that inflates the bag. However, extreme temperature can destabilize the ammonium nitrate causing the metal canister to explode, according to patent application documents the company filed by Takata. Six deaths have been linked to the defective air bags, all in cars made by Honda.