Our first meeting was a little awkward, taking place just moments before we both testified before a U.S. Senate committee investigating deaths and injuries from rupturing Takata airbag inflators. One of us was injured by an inflator in a car accident, resulting in a severe eye injury, emotional trauma and months of recovery. One of us works for the company that manufactured the car. What brought us together was tragic. However, now we are working together on a proposal that we believe will help prevent such injuries and save the lives of others by significantly increasing the repair rates for vehicles recalled in America.
Millions of vehicles made by 10 automakers have been recalled to replace front airbag inflators on the driver’s side, passenger’s side or both. But the distressing truth is that despite the best efforts of automakers, about a third of all cars and trucks recalled in America for safety defects are never brought to the dealer for repair. The rate is much worse for older cars. As a result, the required repairs are never made and, unfortunately, drivers and passengers in the affected vehicles are unnecessarily exposed to the risk of death or injury.