Dem senators want to recall all cars with Takata airbags

Dem senators want to recall all cars with Takata airbags
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A pair of Democratic senators is calling on Japanese auto parts company Takata to recall all cars containing its airbags after a faulty part was discovered in a 2015 model vehicle. 

Takata has already recalled more than 34 million vehicles that were found to have faulty airbags that could explode when deployed in humid conditions. 

Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyHillicon Valley: Senate sets hearing on Facebook's cryptocurrency plans | FTC reportedly investigating YouTube over children's privacy | GOP senator riles tech with bill targeting liability shield | FAA pushed to approve drone deliveries Hillicon Valley: Senate sets hearing on Facebook's cryptocurrency plans | FTC reportedly investigating YouTube over children's privacy | GOP senator riles tech with bill targeting liability shield | FAA pushed to approve drone deliveries Overnight Defense: House passes T spending package with defense funds | Senate set to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales | UN nominee defends climate change record MORE (D-Mass.) said Thursday that the company should expand the recall to include all vehicles that contain its airbags after the discovery of defective part in a brand new 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan in St. Louis, Mo. 

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"Takata’s defective airbags have already caused at least eight deaths and more than one-hundred injuries in the United States — numbers that may increase as further cases come to light — and it is essential for your company to do all it can to identify and address the cause of this problem," the senators wrote to Takata's North American executive vice president, Kevin Kennedy. 

"In light of the most recent incident, which did not occur in one of the regions originally designated as 'high humidity,' and which involved a 2015 vehicle not currently subject to recall, we urge you to voluntarily recall all vehicles containing Takata airbags,” the lawmakers continued. 

Takata has come under fire since issuing a recall in late 2014 of about 8 million cars with faulty airbags that could explode when deployed in humid conditions. The recall was later expanded to include another 17 million cars after federal regulators put pressure on Takata.

The defective airbags were used in cars manufactured by companies including Honda, Lexus and Chrysler. Accidents involving the defective air bags have been linked to eight deaths so far. 

Takata has resisted issuing a total recall of its airbags, arguing that problems with the parts have mostly been limited to areas of the U.S. where weather conditions are humid. 

The company has said it is working through claims that have been filed by drivers who have been affected by its faulty parts. 

"As you may know, Takata has already resolved a number of claims involving airbag ruptures, and we intend to continue to discuss settlement of claims in appropriate cases going forward," Kennedy wrote in a July 7 letter to lawmakers. 

Blumenthal and Markey said Wednesday that latest airbag problem in Missouri shows the issues with Takata's parts are not limited to notably humid areas.

"This is the first incident reported in a VW, the first incident reported in a side airbag, and — most importantly — the first involving the newest models of Takata airbags," the lawmakers wrote. 

"This directly undercuts Takata’s continued insistence — despite growing evidence to the contrary — that the flaws in its airbag inflators are limited to prior designs in older model cars and only present when the airbags have prolonged exposure to extremely humid conditions," they continued.