On August 13, NHTSA sent orders to VW and Takata seeking information to learn whey the 2015 vehicle’s air bag ruptured. Volkswagen and Takata announced separately that they will cooperate with NHTSA and continue to investigate the incident. According to a NHTSA spokesman, the agency is not yet in a position to draw a connection with the latest incident and existing recalls of driver or passenger front air bags. One suspects that Takata used the same air bag propellant in its side and front airbags, and that the connection will soon be drawn. It is certainly hot and humid in Missouri during the summer. Perhaps the incident involving the 2015 VW Tiguan will reveal that Takata air bag failure occurs even as a result of short-term exposure to heat and humidity.
If the investigation leads to a recall, Volkswagen would add to the 32 million vehicles that NHTSA already oversees involving Takata inflators in front air bags. Takata is now depending on three of its key competitors to produce the majority of replacement inflators needed to repair millions of vehicles. By March, Autoliv Inc., Daicel Corp. and ZF TRW Automotive will make about 68% of the inflators. The three companies produced about 50 percent in June.