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The hits just keep on coming for motor vehicle air bags

Back in the day when AM radio was king, someone coined the phrase "The hits just keep on coming." It became a hallmark of certain stations across the nation, including in Texas. When you tuned in, you knew you would get the top hit songs for whatever genre of music you happened to favor. That was a good thing.

Today, we're thinking of the phrase in the context of motor vehicle air bags and the connotation is anything but positive. As we have noted in several previous posts, including one earlier this month, faulty air bags are on everyone's minds. And the issue only seems to grow bigger from week to week.

There's good reason for it. Air bags are considered one of the greatest advances in safety technology of the past several decades. But now it's getting hard to know if they're a help or possibly a deadly hindrance. At least eight people have died and more than 100 have been injured. Faulty parts in air bag inflators have triggered with so much force that shrapnel has gone flying through passenger compartments.

One of the most recent hits aimed at the auto industry came by way of two U.S. senators. They called on all automakers that use air bags made by Takata Corp. to recall every vehicle that carries them. In a letter to Takata, the lawmakers said they're concerned that the company has been concealing the full nature of the problem and dragging its feet on getting repairs handled.

The letter itself was prompted by yet another hit -- the case of a side air bag rupture that happened in a 2015 Volkswagen SUV in June. The lawmakers noted that the conditions under which the rupture occurred are significantly different from the previous cases that sparked the recall of 33.8 million vehicles in May.

It has to make you wonder what the next big hit might be.

Source: Detroit News, "2 U.S. senators urge recall of all Takata inflators," David Shepardson, Aug. 20, 2015

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