SANTA MONICA (REUTERS) - Toyota, Fiat Chrysler, Volkswagen, and Mitsubishi are still selling new vehicles with defective air bags that will eventually have to be recalled, according to a report from the US Senate committee that oversees the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
That's primarily because automakers are having a hard time phasing out the airbags, explains Eric Lyman of TrueCar.
"Well, it's not a situation that you can just flip on and off like a light switch. The technology, and planning, and investment, and timing that goes building an automobile is really unsurpassed in any other manufacturing process," said Mr Lyman.
The airbags, produced by a Japanese company Takata, can explode and spray metal shrapnel into passenger compartments. They are suspected in 13 deaths worldwide, and more than 100 injuries.
The new vehicles with Takata airbags are legal to sell, but must be recalled by 2018.
Lyman says, Takata sells airbags to many different automakers, and the ripple effect has been staggering. For example, Ford just said, it is expanding its Takata air bag recalls by nearly 1.9 million vehicles. And more are coming.
Just last month, Takata agreed to declare another 35 million to 40 million US airbags defective. Eight automakers announced recalls of more than 12 million vehicles as a result.