CARS.COM — Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari join the list of automakers that have admitted they still use the most problematic Takata airbag inflators in new cars, according to a new U.S. Senate report. The report, issued July 20 by the Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, found the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van and E-Class coupe and convertible use Takata’s non-desiccated ammonium nitrate inflators, the devices deemed most rupture-prone in the industry’s ongoing Takata recalls. Five Ferrari models also use the inflators, the report said.
This week’s report augments a June 1 report from the same Senate committee that found at least four automakers — Toyota, Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Mitsubishi — still sell new cars with Takata’s most problematic inflators. Since June 1, Toyota said it would ask dealers to tell customers if they were buying cars with non-desiccated Takata inflators. FCA said it would stop using them altogether after switching components in its last model thus equipped, the 2016 Jeep Wrangler.
The June 1 report said certain other automakers, including Honda, Nissan and Ford, also have new cars with Takata’s ammonium nitrate inflators, but they have desiccant, a drying agent that reduces the likelihood of unintended airbag rupture. This week’s report notes that “nearly all” of the 100-plus injuries and 10 U.S. deaths have come from non-desiccated inflators.
The committee has asked more than a dozen automakers involved in Takata’s inflator recall — including three that were added in a huge May 4 expansion — to name their current cars that use Takata’s non-desiccated ammonium nitrate inflators. Under a federal consent order, all such inflators must be recalled by the end of 2018.
Between the June 1 and July 20 reports, the committee says the following cars still use the non-desiccated inflators:
- 2016 Jeep Wrangler
- 2016 Ferrari FF
- 2016-17 Ferrari California T
- 2016-17 Ferrari 488 GTB, 488 Spider
- 2016-17 Ferrari F12, F12tdf
- 2017 Ferrari GTC4Lusso
- 2016 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
- 2016-17 Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe, convertible
- 2016-17 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
- 2015 Lexus IS convertible
- 2015-16 Lexus GX 460
- 2015 Scion xB
- 2015-16 Toyota 4Runner
- 2017 Audi R8, R8 Spyder
- 2016 Audi TT
- 2016 Volkswagen CC
It’s important to note that this isn’t a complete list. The report says BMW disclosed that “some” 2015 model-year cars used Takata’s non-desiccated ammonium nitrate inflators but did not say which, if any, were still on sale. The report also said Tesla, an automaker recently added to the pool, had not responded as of July 19.