Any time a consumer product has the potential to cause injury or harm to its customers, the manufacturer clearly has a huge responsibility to ensure its safety. For automobiles, this potential for harm is normally related to ensuring that the car functions as expected when driving, and will not cause an accident. In this case, though, the problem is beyond even these simple parameters, and could kill or severely maime passengers while performing a function designed to prevent them from harm: deploying the airbags.
Yes, this recall is a very big deal. Many recalls that happen are due to human safety concerns, and when these concerns deal with devices that can prevent fatal injury during a car crash, the importance is exponentially higher. Many customers purchased their vehicles trusting the airbag would work in case of a crash. Having to have a recall not only hurts Takata's image, but it also confirms that thousands of drivers were in danger.
The United States government is putting pressure on the Japanese company Takata to recall their air bags. The company supplies air bags to five major models of vehicles and the recall affects millions cars nationwide. Over 14 million recalls have already been issued globally. Air bags that explode due to high temperature and humidity have already resulted in five deaths. These bags pose a huge safety risk and liability issues for the manufacturer.
Yes I do think that the Takata airbag is a big deal. I myself personally have a vehicle that contains this airbag. People have been killed and injured from this air bag and it is absurd to think that people trusted this product to protect them when it in fact did the opposite.