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Researchers Confirm Moisture Causing Takata Airbag Ruptures

Researchers from aerospace manufacturer Orbital ATK have confirmed moisture is the cause of the Takata airbag ruptures, according to a report in the Washington Post. The moisture seeps in from the atmosphere and is not chemically dried, allowing it to remain in the inflator.

Three conditions are necessary for the airbag to be at risk of rupture: poor design, the absence of water-absorbing chemicals, and high atmospheric temperatures with wide ranges, said former NHTSA administer David Kelly. The report’s findings were specific to Takata inflators that contain ammonium nitrate and fail to incorporate a moisture-reducing chemical.

NHTSA may eventually require Takata to recall all inflators with ammonium nitrate unless the company can prove the chemical is safe.

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