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Blumenthal, Markey Statement on Expansion of Takata Airbag Recall

Lawmakers repeatedly called for nationwide recall of all defective Takata airbags

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), members of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, released the following statement today after the Department of Transportation announced the expansion of its recall of automobiles with defective Takata airbags. The national recall will now comprise nearly 34 million vehicles and will represent the largest auto recall in history.

“Since reports revealed Americans were dying as a result of exploding airbags made by Takata, we have been asking for a nationwide recall on all affected cars. The largest auto recall in history demands the strongest response possible to ensure our families and friends are protected from deadly airbags. We are pleased that NHTSA is taking these long overdue steps to protect drivers and passengers and that Takata must cooperate with the ongoing investigation into this tragedy. NHTSA must ensure that the necessary parts are manufactured more quickly, and consumers deserve to know immediately whether or not the new parts are also defective, possibly requiring them to have their airbags fixed in another five years.”

In October 2014, Senators Blumenthal and Markey first called on NHTSA to issues a nationwide safety recall for all cars with potentially-defective Takata airbags. Later that month, the Senators called on David Friedman, the Acting Administrator for NHTSA, about NHTSA’s Early Warning Reporting system and the efficacy of regional recalls. In November 2014, the Senators called for a criminal investigation of Takata. In January, the Senators, along with Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) wrote to NHTSA asking for a comprehensive update on NHTSA’s oversight of recalls and voluntary service campaigns associated with the Takata airbag defect. In March 2015, the Senators introduced the Repairing Every Car to Avoid Lost Lives (RECALL) Act to ensure safety recalls are more quickly completed.