Following in the footsteps of Japanese automakers Honda, Nissan, and Toyota, Ford Motor Company has announced that it will no longer use air bag inflators manufactured by Japanese supplier Takata in the future.
That’s the latest according to the Detroit Free Press, which reports that the automaker has already had to recall more than 1.5 million older Mustangs, GTs, and American built Rangers for containing those air bag inflators that Takata has identified as defective. Other models may use Takata inflators which have not been recalled.
Takata Corp. uses Ammonium Nitrate in its inflators, which ignites in the event of a crash, causing the air bag to inflate with air. But that compound can deteriorate over time, especially from exposure to moisture, often making the explosion volatile enough to blow apart a metal canister meant to contain it. So far, the inflators have been linked to at least 8 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
For its part, Takata Corp. has said that it plans to stop using Ammonium Nitrate in the future. The Japanese supplier posted a half-year loss of some 5.6 billion yen ($45.8 million) this month, owing to the costly recall. Said recall affects approximately 19.2 million total vehicles in the United States.