Car Industry

Mazda finally supplies permanent fixes for Takata recall

Up until now, it was replacing defective units with more of the same.

Mazda

The Takata scandal is far from over, as many vehicles on the road still contain some variant of faulty airbag inflator. But Mazda is hoping a new round of actual, permanent fixes will put some owners at ease.

Mazda has updated two recalls related to the Takata issue -- one covering 205,377 vehicles and the other encompassing another 79,402. The affected vehicles include the 2009-2012 Mazda6, 2007-2012 Mazda CX-7 and the 2007-2012 Mazda CX-9. All of these vehicles originally came with Takata's airbag inflators that were later found to be faulty.

Permanence is a nice thing, especially when the stopgap solution involves more ticking time bombs.

Mazda

All the vehicles included in both recalls mentioned above will finally have access to permanent replacement parts. Originally, given parts shortages, all Mazda could do was replace old Takata inflators with new ones. That might seem like a problem, but do bear in mind that Takata's inflators don't become little shrapnel bombs without prolonged exposure to humidity and temperature fluctuations, so they function fine as stopgaps.

The new recall, which features permanent replacement airbag inflators with a different propellant, will be rolled out in a stepped manner. The first vehicles to receive the new replacements will be cars that have never had their airbag inflators swapped out, followed by vehicles that received stopgap replacements.

Takata's scandal erupted after more than a dozen fatalities were linked to its faulty airbag inflators. The inflators in question lacked a moisture-absorbing desiccant, and over time, humidity made those inflators faulty, which led to them exploding in clouds of shrapnel instead of inflating the airbag like usual. The company declared bankruptcy and its assets were sold to Key Safety Systems, another automotive supplier. The recall continues to expand, and it now includes airbag inflators that have desiccants

It's estimated that there are approximately 30.4 million faulty Takata airbag inflators still on the road.