The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced it will not require automakers to recall an additional 56 million Takata airbag inflators, clarifying that the components do not pose a safety risk to motorists.
Previously, automakers in the United States were ordered to recall over 60 million Takata airbag inflators that could explode when deployed, releasing metal fragments that have killed at least 25 people across the globe.
While this might not be the case for 56 million more, the NHTSA said it will continue to monitor the inflators’ performance over time. Separately, the agency said it has ordered Volkswagen to recall 370,000 vehicles equipped with Takata inflators that were found to have used a problematic drying agent.
The issue with the Takata airbag inflators marks the largest safety recall in automotive history. It affects over 100 million inflators from 19 major automakers worldwide and is connected to more than 290 injuries since its discovery.
The NHTSA sparked the massive recall in America in 2016 when it ordered 40 million inflators to be taken off the market. The agency then announced it would conduct another review by the end of 2019 to determine if the airbags that used a “dessicant” or drying agent also needed to be recalled.
According to the NHTSA, the inflators could degrade when exposed to high heat and humidity, making them more prone to dangerous ruptures.
Moreover, the agency said its final decision is based on “extensive testing” of the inflators. A group responsible for testing the inflators are also tasked to “further surveil and assess” the performance of the devices.
The issue on the airbag inflators led to Takata’s filing for bankruptcy in 2017.