Takata Airbag Replacements: Are They Just as Dangerous?

As Takata works to remove defective airbags from millions of recalled vehicles, consumers are questioning whether the replacements are really safer than their dangerous predecessors, as the source of the erupting airbags has evaded investigators. While no definitive explanation has been cited as the cause of shrapnel-emitting airbag explosions, many believe that ammonium nitrate, the inflation chemical propellant, will emerge as the main contributing source. This propellant is considered “highly volatile,” and is often used in bombs because of its explosiveness and instability when heated, but is much cheaper than alternatives. As replacement airbags use this same dangerous chemical, Takata may be no closer to remedying the defect than before the major auto recall—and could be further endangering the lives of drivers and passengers around the world.

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