The burgeoning Takata airbag crisis continued to expand yesterday as three major automakers announced the recall of 2.5 million vehicles. Volkswagen yesterday recalled a total of 850,000 vehicles as the ballooning Takata exploding airbag recall continues to expand. Also, BMW and Daimler, parent of Mercedes-Benz, recalled other 1.69 million vehicles, as well. Like the VW recalls, BMW and Daimler issued their recalls in the exploding Takata airbag crisis. To date, wide recall numbers have reached more than 55 million vehicles, while U.S. numbers have topped 25 million, making the entire issue record-setting.
Yesterday’s Volkswagen recall included 680,000 VW-branded vehicles and another 170,000 Audi cars. The recalls follow last month’s action by Takata where it declared an additional 5.1 million U.S. vehicles defective. The airbag manufacturer’s action, said Automotive News, revealed “that far more airbags than previously thought were potentially unsafe.”
Specifically, the Volkswagen recall covered the following vehicles:
- 2009-14 Volkswagen CC sedan
- 2010-14 Jetta SportWagen Golf
- 2012-14 VW Eos convertible
- 2012-14 Passat, assembled in the U.S.
- 2006-10 Passat, sedans and wagons, built in Germany
The Audi recall covers the following:
- 2005-13 A3 compacts
- 2006-09 A4 Cabrios
- 2009-12 Q5 crossovers
- 2010-11 A5 Cabrios
Volkswagen issued a statement at the same time saying that it had had no reports of failures or injuries linked to the inflators used in its vehicles. Specifically, VW used SDI and PSDI-5 inflators in its vehicles. Also, the automaker said it will contact owners once the specific vehicles have been determined. Audi and VW indicated they would contact owners when the parts are available. Further, those vehicles that are currently in dealer certified pre-owned stocks were put on a sales-hold.
The BMW recall covers vehicles built from 2006-2015. None of the cars and SUVs recalled having been included in previous callbacks.
Meanwhile, Daimler A.G. also recalled 705,000 Mercedes-Benz cars and 136,000 vans with potentially faulty airbag inflators. The automaker said it issued the recall after receiving notification from NHTSA that some of the Takata-made airbags used in the vehicles were possibly defective. The vehicles include:
- M-B SLK convertibles
- M-B C-Class, E-Class sedans
- M-B M- and GL-Class SUVs
- M-B R- class
- M-B SLS coupe
The vehicles involved in the recall were manufactured between 2005 and 2014. Also, the manufacturer recalled vans built between 2007 and 2014. Daimler built the vans for Dodge, Freightliner and Mercedes-Benz (Sprinter). Daimler said it had not received reports of any failures involving the airbags. It also added the number of vehicles recalled may drop once the NHTSA had completed its technical study work.
Daimler also announced it was taking a 340-million-euro charge — $383 million – to cover the recall. The charge is unlikely to have any effect on automaker’s financial position.
The latest recalls follow an NHTSA action announced Jan. 22 where 5.1 million vehicles with potentially faulty airbags were added to the ongoing Takata airbag inflator recall. The new recall added vehicles that were not previously affected by other recalls. The manufacturers involved included Daimler and Volkswagen. The latest round of recalls was prompted by the death of a Ford Ranger pickup driver, as well as tests which were conducted on suspect airbags. Ford has recalled 361,000 Ranger pickups, built between 2004-06. Mazda, whose B-series trucks were based on the Ranger series, recalled 20,000 pickups also produced between 04 and 06.
Meantime, other automakers have announced major recalls of Takata-equipped cars over the last several years. Fourteen automakers are involved in the ongoing crisis that has so far seen possibly 11 deaths – the latest was only recently tentatively linked – and more than 100 injuries related to the failing airbag inflators. First problems were reported as early as 2002 in some models, primarily Hondas, as the Japanese carmaker was Takata’s largest client. Honda’s recalls recently topped 8 million vehicles since 2008, when the first recalls were announced.