‘Cold blooded calculation’—drivers of Takata-recalled cars should NOT do this – CNBC

Dealers are scrambling to get the replacement parts, with nearly 1 in 4 cars in America being affected.

But in many cases, it’s going to be a while before the repairs can be made to all those vehicles. So far, only about 8 million of the original 28.8 million air bags on recall have been replaced.

Jackson said he expects the challenge surrounding the Takata recall to be “almost overwhelming for dealers over the next several years.” The government estimates it could take until the end of 2019 to finish the recalls.

Until recently, “we’ve been replacing these air bags with just knowing there was a problem, but without a definitive answer to what’s wrong,” he said.

But three independent reports concluded the chemical Takata uses to deploy its air bags, ammonium nitrate, can degrade after long-term exposure to environmental moisture and high temperatures.

In the air bags being recalled, Takata didn’t use a chemical drying agent that can counteract the effects of moisture.

“The decision of Takata … the only device maker … to use ammonium nitrate as the propellant, which has proven to be unstable in humidity, was a fatally flawed decision,” Jackson said.

With the first recall of Takata air bags dating back to 2008, Jackson said: “For the industry now to be sitting here having finally determined what’s wrong and not have sufficient devices or a plan to get sufficient devices into the repair is not good.”

The Takata situation has been “disruptive to the business” of selling vehicles, he added, considering AutoNation’s policy of not selling any vehicles with open recalls on them.

The government said the inflators have to be replaced before they reach 6 years old, when the risk of rupture increases.

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