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January 4, 2019
Takata Independent Monitor John Buretta Issues End‑of‑Year Report on Airbag Recalls

On December 21, 2018, Takata Independent Monitor and Cravath partner John Buretta, along with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), issued an end‑of‑year progress report on the state of the Takata airbag recalls.

The report details strides made by 19 affected automakers in repairing vehicles containing defective Takata airbags, with more than 7.2 million airbags replaced over the past year through “unprecedented collaboration” between the Monitor, NHTSA and the automotive industry, including door‑to‑door canvassing in high‑risk areas.

Defective Takata airbags contain a phase‑stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant that becomes more explosive when exposed over time to high heat and humidity and can rip apart the steel canister containing the propellant, shooting sharp metal fragments at vehicle drivers and occupants. To date, 15 people have been confirmed killed in the U.S. by metal shrapnel spraying out of defective Takata airbags, and hundreds have suffered serious injuries. Millions of defective Takata airbags remain on U.S. roads and continue to put drivers and passengers at risk.

To view the report, please click here.

To determine if your car has a defective airbag inflator, visit AirbagRecall.com and enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) or license plate number.

Additional information about the monitorship is available at TakataMonitor.org. Members of the public can also use the TakataMonitor.org website to file confidential, anonymous reports, and to communicate with the Independent Monitor.

In December 2015, John was selected by the NHTSA to serve as the Independent Monitor of Takata and of the 19 automakers affected by the Takata recalls. In April 2017, John was appointed by the U.S. Department of Justice to serve as Independent Monitor regarding the worldwide operations of Takata Corporation, headquartered in Japan.

Cravath associates Tara Ganapathy and Allison S. Eisen assisted in preparing the report.