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General Motors gets extra time to complete airbag recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that it's giving General Motors Company extra time to complete its recall on numerous vehicles. The vehicles have defective Takata airbags inside them, which are at risk of exploding and shooting hot and potentially fatal metal shrapnel at drivers and passengers.

The GM recall pertains to a large number of trucks. According to its previous recall requirement, the automaker had until Dec. 31, 2016, to begin carrying out the recall of these vehicles. Now, the automaker has until Aug. 31, 2017.

The reason for the delay is because GM is being permitted time to try and show that its vehicles are actually safe. If it succeeds, it will be able to circumvent the huge financial costs associated with the recall process. It is not usual for NHTSA to provide extra time like this; however, the extra time -- nearly a year -- will offer GM the ability to conduct long-term tests on its vehicle that have Takata airbags. The tests will reveal just how dangerous the airbags actually are.

The Takata airbags in previously recalled vehicles -- like the GM vehicles -- contain a chemical that deteriorates over time, especially if the vehicles are exposed to high heat areas. The deteriorated chemical causes the inflating element in airbags to explode more quickly and forcefully. This results in airbags exploding and metal fragments being dangerously spewed throughout vehicle cabins.

However, General Motors believes that the vents on its inflators are larger and made with stronger steel in comparison with the vents on the deadly inflators that have caused 11 confirmed deaths so far. Additionally, GM says that it used solar-absorbing glass in its trucks, and this helps keep cabin temperatures cooler to prevent the deterioration of the inflator chemical.

Have you been injured by a Takata airbag? Depending on the facts surrounding your car accident and injuries, you may be able to seek financial damages in court.

Source: NASDAQ, "General Motors (GM) Permitted to Delay Takata Airbag Recalls," Nov. 23, 2016

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