US lawmakers have warned of car ‘recall fatigue’

Policy makers in the US have warned of car ‘recall fatigue’ in a congressional hearing with regulators and carmakers about progress in a major airbag recall.

Faulty airbags made by Japan’s Takata have been linked to at least eight deaths, multiple injuries and has prompted the largest recall in US history.

The US safety agency said it had set up a dedicated website to deal with this however Senator John Thune said the size of the Takata recall was causing confusion and delays in replacing the airbags.

Mark Rosekind, administrator at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) added that the agency was underfunded and did not have enough staff or the right technology.

‘You’ve got too many complaints and not enough people,’ he said. ‘It’s just overwhelming.’

He added that the NHTSA had submitted a request for extra funding.

The ongoing issue with Takata airbags has resulted in 34 million vehicles being recalled in the US and 53 million vehicles globally.

Questioned on the safety of its airbags today, the Japanese car company said it had changed its design and was no longer using an inflator shaped like a batwing which was involved in the eight fatal accidents.

Kevin Kennedy, from Takata North America stated, ‘We feel very confident in the inflators we are making today.’

‘We will continue to do everything we can to ensure uncompromised safety for our customers and the success of the recall efforts,’ he added.

Mr Kennedy also said he would provide an answer to the question of whether to set up a victim compensation fund, as GM has done, within two weeks.