JUDY WOODRUFF: It’s been a misfortune year ever for automobile recalls, and this week supposing some-more unfortunate news, a latest concerns, usually how many vehicles have atmosphere bags that could be dangerous and should be recalled. The atmosphere bags finished by a Japanese association Takata can rupture, causing steel fragments to fly out and harm someone.
At slightest 4 deaths are connected with those ruptures. Federal regulators pronounced this week that roughly 8 million vehicles from scarcely a dozen manufacturers should have repairs finished or a bags replaced. That’s on tip of 14 million already removed worldwide.
Moreover, lawmakers pronounced this week that as many as 30 million vehicles could be versed with those atmosphere bags.
Overall, this year, nationwide, some-more than 50 million cars and trucks have been removed for a accumulation of problems. That is one in 5 on U.S. roads.
Micheline Maynard has been covering this for Forbes. She is a highbrow of business broadcasting during Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Micki Maynard, acquire behind to a “NewsHour.”
So, a many recalls ever. How large a understanding are these — this atmosphere bag problem?
MICHELINE MAYNARD, Arizona State University: we consider a lot of your listeners substantially listened about a General Motors issues with ignition switches.
I indeed consider this is a bigger problem since it affects distant some-more companies. It affects 11 opposite automobile companies, and it affects vehicles that were built from 2000 to 2008. And there are still a lot of those vehicles on a road.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Is it transparent then, Micki Maynard, who should have a atmosphere bags replaced, who should have them fixed? Are they being told by a automobile manufacturers?
MICHELINE MAYNARD: Yes, it’s a automobile companies’ shortcoming to forewarn consumers, yet consumers could also be active by going to a Web site of a Transportation Department.
And we can put in a automobile marker series from your automobile and find out either a automobile is theme to recall. In this case, we would unequivocally titillate people, if they’re endangered during all about their safety, to go on, see if their automobile has been recalled, and in that case, get in reason with their dealer.
I wouldn’t wait in a conditions for a minute to come from a automobile company. If you’re unequivocally worried, call your play or your mechanic.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, in other words, even yet there are usually a few deaths so far, you’re observant this is urgent, since some of a stories we’re reading prove a commission of problems has been small, yet there is still genuine concern.
MICHELINE MAYNARD: Right.
And one of a things that happens to cars as they get comparison is a tools get older. And, as we usually said, some of these vehicles are now 14 years old, and this atmosphere bag technology, this newcomer atmosphere bag record is evolving. So a latest atmosphere bags are substantially some-more accurate than these were, yet we don’t know. If we gathering your automobile over severe roads, we gathering your automobile in a high-humidity area, we competence wish to take a prevision of being proactive, rather than waiting.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We should note The Washington Post is stating that there could finish adult being something like 30 million cars with this atmosphere bag problem.
Micki, because is it that a automobile manufacturers continue to use these atmosphere bags, because people weren’t told earlier about this?
MICHELINE MAYNARD: This atmosphere bag remember has unequivocally been kind of flapping along for about 6 years. And it was usually in a final integrate of years that we saw millions some-more vehicles combined to these recalls. And one of a reasons is that cars start to get a small bit precarious as they get older. We suspicion peculiarity was terrific.
And what we’re anticipating out is there are certain components where they don’t reason adult as well. And that’s one of a situations that’s going on here.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But a automobile manufacturers didn’t commend this? And what about Takata, a builder of a atmosphere bags? Have they continued to make this sold type? Do we know?
MICHELINE MAYNARD: This sold form is no longer being made. There’s a new chronicle that’s being made.
And one of a large problems with this remember is that Takata will have to furnish a deputy parts. So here we have here Takata, that has already taken assign opposite a gain of $750 million, they will have to spend a income to make deputy tools for millions of vehicles, and that’s going to reason things up.
There are usually a few manufacturers in a universe that make atmosphere bag inflators to start with, and now Takata will be impeded with creation millions that they didn’t design to make.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, are we observant there might not be adequate tools to repair all these atmosphere bags?
MICHELINE MAYNARD: People are really disturbed about a speed during that they will be means to get their cars fixed. And we’re conference anecdotally of folks job dealerships and perplexing to pointer adult for appointments and being told, we don’t have a parts. You will usually have to wait.
I think, with all a open inspection that this is getting, that governments, maybe a United States supervision and a Japanese government, might have to step in and positively a manufacturers might have to step in to give Takata some assistance to accommodate a direct for these parts.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Micheline Maynard, we appreciate you.
MICHELINE MAYNARD: Thank we really much, Judy.