85 million Takata air bags could still be recalled

85 million Takata air bags could still be recalled

NHTSA has said that 85 million Takata air bags may still need to be recalled, according to media reports. So far, 28.8 million air bag inflators have been recalled.

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind was called before the House Energy and Commerce Committee as part of its effort to review federal oversight of the agency. Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) expressed concern about –low recall recompletion rates, Takata recalls, and cybersecurity issues,” according to the Detroit News.

Democrats on the committee criticized the voluntary agreement reached last year between DOT, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers. Mitch Bainwol, president of the Alliance, who testified at the committee hearing, outlined the four major safety principles in the agreement:

« Enhance and facilitate proactive safety

« Enhance analysis and examination of early warning data

« Maximize safety recall participation rates

« Enhance automotive cybersecurity

During the hearing, Rosekind called the agreement –historic,” but Democrat lawmakers complained it didnêt have strong enforcement provisions.

Michael Charapp, partner in Charapp & Weiss, LLP, and WANADA Kindred-line member, points out several flaws in the agreement: The goals are only aspirational. There are no penalties for noncompliance. The agreement lacks provisions to assure rapid remediation of defects. And nothing in the agreement ensures that manufacturers will be fully responsible for the costs of remedying defects in the vehicles they provided.

The automaker groups have written a letter to major insurance companies — including Geico, Progressive, Nationwide and State Farm — asking them to remind drivers of any open safety recalls when they renew their auto insurance. The letter asks insurers to –urge that owners have recall work performed as soon as possible,” reported Reuters.

NADA, which supports a 100 percent recall completion rate, has opposed proposals to ground all rental and used cars under open recalls, pointing out that doing so would also ground vehicles recalled for minor compliance matters, such as a wrong phone number in the ownerês manual. NADA President Peter Welch said in testimony before the same congressional committee last fall that back-ordered repair parts and recall notices that are disregarded by consumers are the two main reasons why completion rates lag.

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