VW recalls Beetles to replace Takata air bag inflators

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In this April 20, 2020 file photo, a Volkswagen car dealer is open in Essen, Germany. In times when a pandemic unleashes death and poverty, the concept of what is essential to keep society functioning in a lockdown is gripping Europe. What may stay open in one country may be designated as non-essential just across the border. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

DETROIT (AP) — Volkswagen is recalling over 105,000 Beetles with faulty Takata front driver’s air bags that can explode and hurl shrapnel.

The recall covers Beetles from the 2012 through 2014 model years. Dealers will replace the air bags at no cost.

Takata used ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to inflate the bags in a crash. But the chemical can degrade when exposed to high heat and humidity and burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister.

Volkswagen says the inflators have a moisture absorbing chemical and are not a safety threat.

Exploding Takata inflators caused the largest series of auto recalls in U.S. history, with at least 63 million inflators recalled. Twenty-seven people have been killed worldwide by the exploding inflators, including 18 in the U.S.

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