Volkswagen will recall about 370,000 of its vehicles because of a risk posed by faulty Takata airbags. According to a report in Car and Driver, the recall will eventually cover the 2012 to 2019 VW Beetle and Beetle convertible and the 2011 to 2014 Passat. The announcement came as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that 56 million of the Takata airbags don’t need to be recalled.
How the Phased System Will Work
NHTSA announced in a statement this week that beginning this December, several models of Volkswagen vehicles will be recalled. The agency said the VWs have an increased risk of the Takata airbags not working properly years after they were built. NHTSA said in the announcement that it has been looking into inflators with a chemical substance known as phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate, which can degrade in high temperatures and when exposed to humidity. When that happens, the airbags can deploy with excessive force and expel metal shrapnel into the vehicle compartment seriously or even fatally injuring occupants.
In order to prevent degradation, the inflators with this chemical were built with a desiccant or drying agent. Even though the federal agency determined that 56 million of these inflators don’t need to be recalled, they said the ones in these VW vehicles could eventually pose a risk to occupants. So, over the next four years, in a three-phase recall, the German automaker will recall about 370,000 vehicles.
The phased system was chosen because the inflators differ and degrade at different rates. So, the affected vehicles won’t need to have the airbags replaced all at once. The first phase will begin in December and include the 2012 to 2014 Beetle and Beetle convertible. In the second phase that will begin on Jan. 1, 2023, the 2015 to 2016 Beetle and Beetle convertible will be recalled. In the final phase to begin on Jan. 1, 2025, the 2017 to 2019 Beetle and Beetle convertible, as well as the 2011 to 2014 Passat, will be recalled. Those affected by the recall are urged to visit NHTSA’s website for more information.
Auto Product Liability Issues
Takata airbag inflators have caused not only fatalities but also severe and catastrophic injuries. There are still millions of vehicles out on our roadways with these dangerous airbags and those who drive them don’t even know it. If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a faulty Takata airbag inflator, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the automaker and the manufacturer of the defective airbag.
If you have lost a loved one, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love, care and companionship. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able to advise you regarding your legal rights and options.