US transport department investigation due over safety issues

The United States’ transportation department is set to conduct an internal review of the U.S. automotive safety regulators, following on from several instances where lapses in vigilance saw defective products make it to market without notice.

The most recent instance was the Takata airbags, which have been used in a large number of different vehicles and by a number of different manufacturers over the past decade and yet it is only now, that the problem has surfaced and manufacturers are recalling specifically affected vehicles – as many as eight million in total. It’s important they do too, as those Takata airbags are thought to have a faulty container that when put under certain environmental stresses and then activated, could explode, sending metallic shrapnel in to the face and body of the driver.

One woman was recently killed in an incident connected with an exploding airbag container.


While no official announcement of an investigation has been made, Reuters’ source claims that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be looked into at quite a detailed level, meaning that staff could be shuffled and responsibilities changed, to help prevent an incident like this from happening again and hopefully improving the overall safety of the automotive industries and American roadways.

It’s not entirely surprising either, from a moral and governmental stand point. While you would expect an organisation that makes a gaff like this to be investigated, clearly the US government feels the same as Congress has recently gotten involved to push for someone to figure out just how so many defective parts ended up in vehicles that were sold to the public and why it’s taken so long to notice.

The House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee is set to meet the road safety regulators some time next week to discuss the level of the recall and how that will affect automakers – all of whom are having to shoulder heavy expenses for the problem.

It’s worth taking a moment during this news piece too, to remind readers that if you have a vehicle manufactured by: Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford or General Motors and it was made anywhere in the last 10 years, you want to do a bit of digging to make sure you aren’t one of the eight million confirmed affected vehicles.

If you are, it’s imperative that you get your car’s airbags changed immediately as they pose a very serious health risk. Chances are if you are affected that you will have some communication from the manufacturer before long, but taking the initiative at a time like this is never a bad idea.

Image source: Laitek Mac3y,

    Shaun Flanagan

    Shaun has been contributing to motoring and technology sites in various sectors for many years. He has a keen interest in anything automotive and many contacts across the industry, which helps feed his appetite for the latest news and views.

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