[WASHINGTON, DC] –U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today issued the following statement in response to a report issued by Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) revealing at least four automakers have confirmed they are still equipping some new vehicles with defective Takata airbags.


“It is reprehensible and possibly illegal that automakers are knowingly sending Americans home in new cars that are equipped with the same ticking time bombs that have caused injuries and taken lives across our country. The fact that some automakers continue to sell new cars with these potentially lethal airbags demonstrates a pernicious disregard for the safety of the American public. This is a blatant attempt to circumvent the federal law prohibiting dealers from selling new cars with an unrepaired recall. We again call on manufacturers to make public all makes, models, and years of vehicles with Takata airbags containing ammonium nitrate, and additionally call on manufacturers and NHTSA to prevent new vehicles that contain this dangerous and defective part from being sold in the first place.”


According to the report, Fiat Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Volkswagen all admitted to equipping some new vehicles with non-desiccated ammonium-nitrate inflators that have been found to be the cause of airbag ruptures linked to as many as 13 deaths and 100 injuries worldwide. Although the automakers are legally allowed to sell the vehicles under an existing order by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), all of them must be recalled by the end of 2018. A full copy of the report is available here.


Senators Blumenthal and Markey first expressed concerns with NHTSA’s limited recalls and testing of Takata airbags in October 2014,  first called on Takata to recall all vehicles with ammonium nitrate-based airbags in August 2015, and subsequently also expressed serious concern about the pace of Takata recalls and repairs. In April, the senators sent a letter urging President Obama to recall every vehicle with airbags using ammonium nitrate as their propellant, and to use “every tool at his disposal” to accelerate the repair of all vehicles with potentially-lethal Takata airbags.