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NHTSA Expands Takata Probe to Recent VW Incident

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Categorized as Auto Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has expanded its investigation into defective Takata airbags to include a recent incident involving a Volkswagen (VW) Tiguan.

In June, a Takata-made side airbag in a 2015 VW Tiguan ruptured after the driver hit a deer. No injuries were reported as the driver did not seek medical treatment and a police report was not filed.

VW reported the incident to the NHTSA last month, though they do not believe that the incident is linked to previous Takata airbag problems.

Almost 34 million vehicles produced by 11 manufacturers, not including VW, were recalled earlier this year because of a defective airbag that has been shown to erupt violently during car accidents. The defect has been connected to a minimum of eight deaths and over 100 injuries.

Tests of the defective airbags have suggested that the explosions were triggered in aging products with continued exposure to high humidity and heat. The vehicles that were recalled included models that are a decade old or more, whereas the VW incident involved a 2015 model.

There is no word yet as to how many VW vehicles have Takata airbags. The NHTSA has issued a special order to the manufacturer requesting that it submit documents and other information about the Tiguan rupture and any other Takata airbag incidents that have occurred in additional VW vehicles. It must also provide a list of all vehicles made with airbags that contain inflators that use ammonium nitrate inflators in the airbags.

Takata has been highly criticized for its use of ammonium nitrate in the inflators in its airbags. The chemical can violently combust when exposed to moisture.

Takata was also issued its fourth special order requiring it to submit a list of all known airbag modules with ammonium nitrate inflators and which automakers have purchased them.

As the go-to defective product lawyers in Kansas City, the attorneys at Peterson & Associates, P.C.™have years of experience representing those injured by bad products. If you have been a victim of a Takata airbag, schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim.