Takata plans to change the design of driver-side air bag inflators

Takata plans to change the design of driver-side air bag inflators

In a statement released on Monday, Japanese parts supplier Takata Corp said that it will not stop manufacturing air bags which use ammonium nitrate propellant, though it will bring about a change in the design of the driver-side air bag inflators.

The statement, a written testimony by Takata, has come ahead of a US congressional hearing scheduled to be held on Tuesday. Takata is at the center of a worldwide recall of tens of millions of vehicles equipped with the company's potentially fatal air bag inflators. The defective inflators can deploy air bags with excessive force; thereby spurting metal fragments inside vehicles.

About Takata's decision to continue producing air bags that use ammonium nitrate propellant, Takata executive Kevin Kennedy said that ammonium nitrate will not be used by other companies which are manufacturing replacements for potentially faulty Takata inflators.

According to the details shared by Kennedy, Takata is in touch with its automaker partners "to transition to newer versions of driver inflators in our replacement kits or inflators made by other suppliers that do not contain ammonium nitrate."

Meanwhile, a Takata spokesman said that the Takata-manufactured replacement inflators will continue with the use of ammonium nitrate, "which is safe and effective for use in air bag inflators when properly engineered and manufactured."