There are times when those who run government agencies feel compelled to “step in” in order to make up for the inadequate response of industries and/or individual businesses to matters of public concern. While it would be ideal if industries and individual business owners would take responsibility when issues of public safety arose, this simply isn’t always the case. Hence, government action is sometimes necessary to make things right.
Take, for example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) recent attempts to get two manufacturers of air bag inflaters to voluntarily recall their products. It has been estimated that 52 million of these inflators are placing motorists at risk of being seriously injured or killed if their affected vehicle models (installed by 12 vehicle manufacturing companies, all between 2000 and 2018) are involved in collisions. However, the manufacturers are refusing to take this step.
What is NHTSA doing about it?
Because NHTSA has asked – and then demanded – that the air bag inflator manufacturers voluntarily recall these safety hazards and have not received a favorable response from either of them, it is now taking steps to involuntarily recall the defective products.
Although it is relatively unusual for the agency to take this step, it isn’t hard to see why it is going to these lengths when you understand the situation. Essentially, when an airbag with a defective inflator is engaged as a result of a collision, the excessive force generated by the defect could cause the whole mechanism to explode. As a result of the explosion, metal debris could be shot into the interior of the vehicle, injuring or even killing those inside.
This safety issue is unquestionably serious. If your vehicle is affected by this “almost” recall, it’s time to take action. Ignoring this safety challenge could cost you and your family dearly.