The Takata airbag inflator saga continues as GM tells NHTSA some Takata airbag safety risks are inconsequential. As surprising as that may seem, the company asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to relieve it of any notification and remedy obligations pertaining to some passenger-side airbag inflators in its GMT900 vehicle platform. If granted, GM will not have to tell vehicle owners and lessors about the defects in these airbag inflators, much less replace them.
Takata filed a Defect Information Report (DIR) with NHTSA in May of 2016 when it discovered a defect in some of its passenger-side airbag inflators. When a DIR is filed by an automotive supplier, it then becomes the vehicle manufacturers’ responsibility to file a DIR of its own regarding the affected models. GM filed two DIRs on May 27, 2016. However, GM’s DIRs came with an attachment in which the company called the recalls “preliminary” as it didn’t agree that a defect actually existed in the inflators used in the GMT900 platform. GM’s statement included its expectations of providing NHTSA with “additional test data, analysis or other relevant and appropriate evidence in support of our belief that our vehicles do not pose an unreasonable risk to safety.” Despite that stance, the company added that it “will conduct a recall of its airbag inflators covered by the May 2016 Takata DIRs, unless GM is able to prove to NHTSA’s satisfaction that the inflators in its vehicles do not pose an unreasonable risk to safety.”
The company followed up in November 2016 with a petition to NHTSA asking to be absolved of its obligations to inform owners/lessors of the defect and to replace the defective parts.
GM Tells NHTSA Some Takata Airbag Safety Risks are Inconsequential
Read this article and submit comments to NHTSA by September 14, 2017.
GM has petitioned NHTSA for Inconsequential Non Compliance on Takata Air Bags: General Motors LLC, Receipt of Petition for Inconsequentiality and Decision Granting Request To File Out of Time and Request for Deferral of Determination as posted on the Federal Register, 11/28/2016
What does this mean?
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation.
Notice of receipt of petition and decision granting partial relief.
On May 16, 2016, TK Holdings Inc. (Takata) filed a defect information report (DIR), in which it determined that a defect existed in certain passenger-side air bag inflators that it manufactured, including passenger inflators that it supplied to General Motors, LLC (GM) for use in certain GMT900 vehicles. GM has petitioned the Agency for a decision that, because of differences in inflator design and vehicle integration, the equipment defect determined to exist by Takata is inconsequential as it relates to motor vehicle safety in the GMT900 vehicles, and that GM should therefore be relieved of its notification and remedy obligations.
The closing date for comments is September 14, 2017.
Takata Airbag Recall – Everything You Need to Know What this recall means to you and what actions you should take
I’d hate to be the one to find out that GM’s Takata airbags really are defective. Wouldn’t you?
Lou Lombardo of Care for Crash Victims sent out an update on the GM Settlement with the Justice Department.
“Mother of GM Crash Victim: Why Is Justice Dept. Allowing GM Write a Check to Get Away with Murder?” http://www.democracynow.org/2015/9/18/mother_of_gm_crash_victim_why
USA Today Editorial
“Thursday’s disappointing conclusion after months of federal investigation is simply par for the course. In the past decade, corporations have gotten away with all manner of fraud, self-dealing, negligent manufacturing and market manipulation. The subprime mortgage industry nearly brought down the U.S. economy and ruined untold number of lives. But to the extent there was punishment at all after these acts, it usually involved a company writing a check, as if these firms ran on automatic pilot.”
Ralph Nader spoke on the topic: http://www.democracynow.org/2015/9/18/gm_did_the_crime_drivers_do
See more reactions to the GM Settlement:
Lou Lombardo concludes his email update this morning: “What will it take to stop the needless deaths and injuries and produce safety and justice?”