Thursday, 20 January, 2022

Defective airbag costs auto industry millions


According to the US National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), the death of a motorist behind the wheel of his Toyota Corolla last spring is likely attributable to an overload of the electrical harness supplying the seat cushions. This defect explains why they did not deploy in time, to attenuate the force of the shock as they should.

In another accident, more recent this one and less serious, another Corolla owner was able to find that his airbag had not been triggered either. There again, the investigators of the NHTSA point the finger at an electromagnetic interference of the electronic box supposed to trigger at the opportune moment the explosion of the pyrotechnic charge which inflates the cushion. The seat belt pretensioner could suffer from the same delay in triggering.

The airbag is disturbed by certain electromagnetic noises

As a result, Toyota Motor Corporation has decided to phase out 3.4 million cars around the world for testing and preventive repairs. The owners of the models concerned will be notified by mail.

The NHTSA investigation isn’t just about Toyota and Lexus cars: as many as 12.3 million vehicles from multiple manufacturers are potentially affected. All are equipped with an electronic box designed

by TRW Automotive Holdings, now owned by the German ZF Friedrichschafen. Moreover, Honda announced that same day, January 22, 2020, that it would recall 2.7 million of its cars in North America.

Except that in this case, it is the hydra Takata that resurfaces. Remember. In 2017, the Japanese seat cushion manufacturer Takata was forced into bankruptcy, unable to bear the financial cost alone of replacing tens of millions of airbags fitted between 1995 and 2000 on vehicles of some 34 brands, to worldwide. As recently as early December 2019, the case was on a new twist, with the recall of 1.4 million additional cars in the United States (for a total of 41.6 million in North America alone. North). Even before that, Takata had already gone down in history for being behind the biggest vehicle recall in automotive history.

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