Huge recall on cars

Sometimes the makers of a product, such as a toy, discover some problem with the product and are forced to “recall” that product. That means they have to fix or replace that product for free for everyone who’s bought it.

Can you imagine the trouble it would be to have to recall a huge product, like a car? Now can you imagine if you had to do that for 34 million cars? A Japanese auto-part supplier called Takata is having to do just that.

Takata manufactures the safety air bag that goes into many cars built by several auto manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, General Motors, BMW, and Chrysler. Due to a defect, sometimes these bags can get inflated unexpectedly and even explode, causing accidents and deaths. Air bags with these defects have been installed in a huge number of cars. Takata is recalling the cars with the faulty air bags. Many people believe this to be the largest ever product recall in history.

Airbags were invented independently by two inventors in the 1950s. Neither was able to make any money from their invention because airbags weren’t used until the 1970s, by which time the patents of the inventors had expired.

There are almost 70 million cars that are produced and sold each year.

Did you know?

Airbags are designed to expand in as little as 1/25th of a second, and the bag bursts out at speeds of up to 200 miles an hour (about 320 km/hr).

Image Credits: Andrea Devos for the airbag’s image

Sources: BBC, ABC,  worldometers.info, howstuffworks.com, wsj.com