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Mercedes, Ferrari still selling cars with iffy Takata airbag inflators

These cars will eventually be subject to a recall to have those parts replaced, but for now, selling 'em is totally legal.

An employee fixes a Mercedes star to the front lid of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class car on the assembly line of the Daimler factory in Sindelfingen, southwestern Germany, on January 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS KIENZLE (Photo credit should read THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Takata Airbag Inflator

Components of a Takata airbag sit on a bench before a US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing.

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Takata's troublesome airbag inflators, which can explode in clouds of shrapnel after being exposed to high humidity, are installed in cars ranging from economical to exotic. Despite being fairly dangerous, a US Senate report points out that even higher-end automakers are still selling cars with those parts installed, and it's perfectly legal to do so.

Both Mercedes and Ferrari are still selling cars with potentially faulty Takata inflators, Reuters reports. While Mercedes' models with Takata parts are limited to the 2016 Sprinter van and E-Class coupe and convertible variants, Ferrari is pretty much putting the inflators in every new car it sells, including limited-edition models like the F12 TdF.

Takata's inflators are still legal to sell, because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration deemed the parts safe until they're exposed to high humidity for long periods of time. Of course, that doesn't sit right with everyone, and the cars will still need to be recalled at a later date for replacement parts, which may not happen until 2018.

Of course, this goes beyond just Ferrari and Mercedes -- Toyota, Volkswagen and certain Fiat Chrysler brands still sell new cars with Takata components, as well. Those vehicles will also need to be recalled once replacement parts are made available. Currently, supply is quite strained, as tens of millions of vehicles require new airbag inflators.

Neither Mercedes-Benz nor Ferrari immediately replied to a request for comment.

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