The Takata airbag scandal has continuously unfolded recently, as more and more vehicles become subject to what can be a fatal recall. The airbags, which use ammonium nitrate as the explosive compound, can be too powerful and discharge shrapnel when deployed.
According to The New York Times, General Motors was made aware of this potential defect nearly 20 years in the late 1990s by competing airbag manufacturing, Autoliv.
Autoliv was in the in the process of mimicking the Takata design, when it alerted GM to the potential issues. GM still chose to install the Takata airbags as a cost saver. However, GM has come forward to state its vehicles were designed specifically to protect the inflators from moisture and high temperatures. Zero injuries or fatalities have occurred in Takata-equipped GM vehicles.
14 deaths and 100 injuries have been reported and linked to the Takata airbags, with most of them occurring in Honda vehicles. Takata airbags were used in dozens of GM trucks and SUVs during this time period, according to the report.