House Hearing on NHTSA & Airbag Recall Reveals Propellant Status
The NY Times reports on the House Hearing:
“Can you guarantee that as long as ammonium nitrate is used in those products that the products are safe?” asked Joseph P. Kennedy III, Democrat of Massachusetts.
“We believe that when properly manufactured and designed, ammonium nitrate — phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate — can be done properly,” Mr. Kennedy of Takata said. He was referring to one of the changes the company’s engineers had made to stabilize the compound to prevent it from breaking down. Takata’s new design would alter the shape of the propellant wafers, but not the composition.
He acknowledged the concerns with the propellant, and added that Takata’s use of ammonium nitrate “would go down significantly.” He also noted that Takata was continuing to investigate the compound as one of the causes of the airbags’ failure.
Some lawmakers questioned why the compound should be used at all, given the circumstances.
“Why would I buy a car that has a potentially dangerous airbag?” said Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois. “I’m not understanding.”
Mr. Kennedy urged some patience. “In a vehicle, it’s not as easy as changing the color of the car,” he said. See