While millions of cars still have to pay a visit to the dealers and have their shrapnel-spreading Takata airbags replaced, free of charge of course, new reports indicate that four manufacturers are selling brand new cars, equipped with the defective inflators.
The story, published by AutomotiveNews, points the finger towards Toyota, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Volkswagen and Mitsubishi, quoting a report by a top Democrat on the US Senate Commerce Committee that oversees the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“What’s troubling here is that consumers are buying new cars not realizing they’re going to be recalled. These cars shouldn’t be sold until they’re fixed“, said US Senator Bill Nelson.
New cars equipped with Takata’s defective airbag inflators don’t need public disclosure and automakers can continue to keep quiet until 2019: “Until that time, it’s impossible for consumers to find out if their vehicle has a defective airbag, which will need to be replaced“, added Rich Newsome, a lawyer representing consumers who have sued the Japanese parts supplier.
Some of the vehicles currently being sold, which will have to be recalled sometime down the road, are the 2016-2017 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, 2016 Volkswagen CC, 2016 Audi TT and 2017 Audi R8. Moreover, the report states that Toyota is expected to build roughly 175,000 cars equipped with the defective inflators between March 2016 and July 2017. That’s not all, because a good part of vehicles that will have their airbags replaced will have to be called back in again, as dealers reportedly have stockpile of about 580,000 inflators that lack a drying agent.