5-speed listening (Level 6)

Record airbag recall



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Authorities in the USA are recalling a record 34 million cars because of safety concerns over the airbags fitted in them. The manufacturer of the airbags has admitted that mechanisms inside the bags are defective and thus need to be repaired or replaced. A spokesman from the company Takata said that the airbags open too quickly on impact, which can cause broken glass or shards of metal to be propelled into the face of the driver or passenger. The bags are fitted into 11 different models of car and the recall constitutes the biggest in US history. It follows a string of other recalls, from Japanese manufacturers Toyota and Honda. The faulty airbags have been linked to six deaths and more than 100 injuries.

The US Department for Transportation welcomed the airbag recall. A spokesman said: "Today is a major step forward for public safety. The department…is taking the proactive steps necessary to ensure that defective inflators are replaced with safe ones as quickly as possible, and that the highest risks are addressed first." Meanwhile, Takata's CEO Shigehisa Takada said: "We are pleased to have reached this agreement…which represents a clear path forward." The company will obviously take a huge financial hit. The recall will cost the company and its customers up to $5 billion. Despite this, Mr Takada said he expects the company will still be able to make a profit this year.

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