The Takata airbag recall is on record as being the largest recall in automotive history. The recall surrounds airbags what use the chemical ammonium nitrate to trigger the explosion that deploys the airbag. The issue is that ammonium nitrate can degrade over time. This degradation can occur faster in climates that are hot and humid. When the deterioration occurs, the airbag can deploy with too much force, sending deadly metal shrapnel flying throughout the vehicle. Dozens of fatal incidents and injuries have been reported. Several different automotive manufacturers have been affected by the recalls, totaling millions of vehicles.
WGME reports that there are 33,000 Maine vehicles on the road that may never get the deadly airbags replaced.
The 13 On Your Side I-Team found that some of the most popular vehicles in Maine are part of a massive recall and owners are getting the runaround.
The company that made the airbags says that they are dangerous and defective. As such, the airbags need to be replaced. However, General Motors, the manufacturer of the vehicles, is attempting to avoid the recall. GM is claiming that the airbags used in its SUVs and pickup trucks are safe.
While 19 automakers with the same airbags installed in more than 40 million vehicles have issued recalls, GM claims that the same airbags in its vehicles are safe.
According to the data available for registered vehicles in the state of Maine, GM would have to repair or replace airbags in more than 33,000 trucks and SUVs.
GM has been filing petitions with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to exempt its vehicles from the recall for four years now. They filed their most recent petition over the summer. The NHTSA has not said when it will make a decision on the petition.