Airbag recall

Not sure if this has hit Australia as much as it has over here, but there has been a problem with air bags that blow shrapnel as well as the bag when they deploy.
Since the company that makes the bag supplies to a lot of automakers, pretty much all brands of cars have been impacted. [List at the end].
I have not blogged about it because as widespread as it was, and as serious as it was, I had not read a single thing on what the root cause was… Till now.

WASHINGTON — A consortium of 10 automakers investigating the root cause behind exploding airbag inflators made by Takata Corp. has fingered the ammonium nitrate propellant as a key factor in the deadly ruptures — but not the only one.

According to the group, known as the Independent Testing Coalition, the ammonium nitrate propellant used in about 23.4 million inflators that Takata deemed defective last year was contained in inflator assemblies that failed to protect the chemical from moisture in humid climates. The exposure to humidity and repeated temperature swings over time can cause the ammonium nitrate to combust violently and rupture the inflator when the airbags deploy in a crash, the group concluded.

So in non-geek speak, the airbag housing itself is the source of shrapnel.
The gas they used, over time, broke down the container it was in, when the bag deploys, bits of the container come out since it has been weakened.

customers affected by inflator recalls: Toyota, Honda, Fiat Chrysler, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Subaru.

That’s a lot of car makers…..

The inflator defect — linked to 10 deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide — is already the subject of one of the largest and most complex recall actions in U.S. history, with some 25 million U.S. vehicles affected and suppliers straining to produce enough replacement parts, even as new recall actions are announced.

Regulators have acknowledged that many of the replacement inflators going into recalled vehicles may themselves have to be replaced later once investigators know more about the overall safety of ammonium nitrate.

So yeah, if it has not made your news section, be happy. It is a long and expensive recall.
Did you get that last block quote… The bags that they are replacing the current bags with may themselves have to be replaced in due time.
This is not going to go anyway anytime soon.