The Ministry of Economy has issued a recall for Mitsubishi Pajeros due to an airbag defect that has been linked to 22 deaths globally.
The move is part of the largest safety recall in automotive history. Airbags made by the Japanese car parts manufacturer Takata have been linked to at least 22 deaths and 280 injuries worldwide.
Defective airbags can rupture when deployed and shoot metal shrapnel at the driver and passengers, causing injury and possible death.
The defective airbags are built with ammonium nitrate compound, which can be set off by moisture and explode. Airbags are at risk if exposed to high humidity and temperature fluctuations over an extended period.
The recall is effective immediately.
The ministry has recalled nearly 54,000 Pajero SUVs in the UAE that were manufactured between 2013 and 2017. Repairs are needed for the V90W/V80W model and will be free of charge. No other models are affected.
“We regret to inform that due to usage condition, the changes of temperature and longtime humidity, the propellant (ammonium nitrate) in the inflator for the passenger side frontal airbag may be deteriorated and, as a result, the inflator body may rupture at the time of airbag deployment,” said a statement by Al Habtoor Motors. “Therefore the frontal airbag inflator for the passenger side has to be changed.”
Al Habtoor could not be immediately reached for comment.
Takata said last year that it had recalled, or expected to recall, about 125 million vehicles globally by 2019 to replace faulty airbags. It is the only major parts manufacturer that uses ammonium nitrate as a propellant in airbags.
In 2015, US regulators gave Takata until the end of 2019 to prove its airbags were safe. But last week, Reuters reported that a senate penal questioned automakers and regulators on why an estimated 30 million defective vehicles remained on the road.
In July, it was announced that 2.7 million replacement airbags, which use calcium sulphate instead of zeolite as a drying agent, were also defective and that vehicles would need to be returned a second time.
Takata airbags are used by 19 manufacturers, including BMW, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazada, Mitsubishi, Nissa, Subaru and Toyota.
Takata pled guilty to fraud in 2017 and agreed to a U$1 billion settlement for concealing the airbag defect. Its assets will be sold for $1.6 b.
Al Habtoor Motors is contacting customers to arrange repairs and have requested customers call local branches or email email@example.com. The agency Al Habtoor is open Saturday to Thursday, from 8am to 8pm.