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Daimler AG Announces Another Takata Air Bag Recall

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More vehicles are being recalled because of potentially defective Takata air bags.

The most recent announcement comes from Daimler AG. It stated in a press release on February 10, 2016, that it would be recalling about 840,000 Mercedes-Benz and other vehicles because of certain Takata air bags. So far, the company has not released a repair schedule for the affected vehicles.

Daimler AG Recalling Over 800,000 Vehicles Because of Takata Air Bags

This is only the latest in a long line of recalls implemented because of potentially dangerous Takata air bags. Linked to at least 10 deaths so far, the air bags can explode when deployed, sending shrapnel into the interior of the vehicle. Victims have suffered from knife-like wounds, some of which affect arteries and cause life-threatening bleeding.

There have been no reports of people being injured in Mercedes or other Daimler vehicles. The company is implementing this recall as a safety precaution, after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) informed them that certain air bag models installed in their vehicles were potentially defective.

Vehicles recalled include:

• 2005-2014 C-class, E-class, GL-class, M-class, and SLK
• 2006-2012 R-class
• 2011-2014 SLS AMG
• 2007-2014 Sprinter vans with Dodge, Freightliner, or Mercedes badges

A more detailed list is available on the NHTSA website. It is not yet clear if Mercedes is recalling the vehicles for driver’s side, passenger-side, or side airbags, or a combination of these. Repairs are expected to cost the company an estimated $400 million.

Takata Put Profits Over Safety

Takata is under investigation because of their poor handling of the air bag issue. So far, evidence has revealed that they were aware of the potential problems with the air bags, but did not take appropriate action to protect the public. Documents released in court also suggested that Takata manipulated test data to downplay the risks. A report from NBC News indicates that the company stopped safety audits of air bag problems in 2009 because of “financial reasons.”

That same year, employees at a Takata plant in Mexico exchanged emails expressing concerns about improper welds on certain air bag inflators. These welds could create weak spots that could allow moisture inside, and moisture and humidity have been some of the factors connected to air bag explosions.

This evidence was revealed in a Congressional staff report, and came from over 13,000 documents obtained from Takata as part of a government investigation. The report indicated that there were many times when Takata could have done more to make sure that air bag inflators were not dangerous, yet they failed to do so.

Number of Vehicles Affected by Recalls Continues to Climb

This latest recall adds to the already high number of vehicles slated for repairs in the Takata air bag scandal. So far, the number is over 20 million, and is expected to continue to climb. At issue is the chemical used inside the propellants, ammonium nitrate, which is believed to be unstable in areas of high temperature and high humidity, especially inside older inflators that may be weakened with age (or by manufacturing defects).

The NHTSA fined Takata $70 million last November, with $130 more to be collected in the future if the company doesn’t meet all repair and reorganization requirements set down by the administration