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Blumenthal, Markey Statement on 10th U.S. Death Confirmed Due to a Takata Airbag

(Washington, DC) – Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), members of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, released the following joint statement after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today confirmed the 10th death in the United States caused by a Takata airbag. The latest victim was a 17-year old girl from Texas. 

"Until every vehicle with potentially-lethal Takata airbags is recalled, our roadways will continue to be littered with these automotive IEDs and innocent people will die. Takata has lied to cover up problems with its airbags and NHTSA has aided this malfeasance with an inept and illogical recall process. NHTSA’s recall rate is abysmal and it is in part responsible for this most recent death. We cannot allow this deadly delay in recalls to continue. We must recall every single vehicle with a Takata airbag and NHTSA must accelerate the recall of these dangerous airbags to prevent yet another unnecessary and tragic death.” 

The senators first expressed concerns with NHTSA’s limited recalls and testing of Takata airbags in October 2014,  first called on Takata to recall all vehicles with ammonium nitrate-based airbags in August 2015, and subsequently also expressed serious concern about the pace of Takata recalls and repairs. Earlier this month, the senators sent a letter urging President Obama to recall every vehicle with airbags using ammonium nitrate as their propellant, and to use “every tool at his disposal” to accelerate the repair of all vehicles with potentially-lethal Takata airbags."