Even supercars plagued by the dreaded airbags

You can pay more than a million bucks for the car of your dreams, but if it has Takata airbags — guess what?

The latest of the dreaded recalls has just been made by none other than supercar maker McLaren, which has nearly 3000 of its products running about in the US.

McLaren has filed the recall with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and names the airbag inflators as part of the list of millions of possibly faulty units that may explode on impact.

The Takata inflators break down after prolonged exposure to humidity and temperature cycles which can cause them to rupture and spew shrapnel at the driver or passenger, so the thing that should protect them may instead severely increase the risk of injury or even death in the event of a crash.

The faulty inflators have been found responsible for at least 20 deaths and 180 injuries.

Since the Takata airbag scandal broke years ago, the company has filed for bankruptcy and been absorbed by rival Key Safety Systems.

Three former top executives of Takata were also convicted of falsifying data that led to the component’s fault.

The total number of cars involved in the recall is fairly small since high-priced McLaren is a low-volume manufacturer.

The NHTSA says 2792 McLarens are involved and cover five models:

  • 2012-2013 MP4-12C
  • 2014-2016 650S
  • 2015-2016 675 LT
  • 2014-2015 P1
  • 2015-2017 570

The recall includes any models that were involved in a crash in which the airbags deployed.

Owners will need to bring their cars to a dealership where a technician will replace the airbags free of charge.

Most would have already received notification of the recall by mail as the recall started on March 31.

It has been nearly 10 years since carmakers began recalling vehicles for exploding airbags and four years since regulators began to investigate the defect.

The NHTSA took over its management more than two years ago.

But the recall is not even close to being over.

Waves of vehicles are scheduled to be added in each of the next two years, and officials expect it to take a couple more years before all the airbag repairs have been completed.  

The recall covers cars and trucks from 19 manufacturers, with 49 million airbag inflators under recall — so far.


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