Air Bag Manufacturer Takata Files for Bankruptcy

The move comes after a global recall of air bags that have a tendency to rupture.

At least 16 deaths and 180 injuries have been linked to defective airbags manufactured by Takata Corp., and now the company is filing for bankruptcy in Japan and the United States.

The defect, which caused an ongoing global recall that started nine years ago, causes the air bags to explode with too much force, spraying shrapnel into vehicle cabins. Some 42 million vehicles have been recalled in the United States due to this issue, the largest recall ever of its kind.

The cause of the issue has been identified as the use of ammonium nitrate in air-bag inflater propellants. The chemical was found to be unstable, leading to ruptures after aging and prolonged exposure to heat and humidity.

NHTSA offers an online tool to search your vehicle's VIN to find out whether it is subject to a recall.

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