It seems like the Takata airbag recall is never-ending. What started as a recall of 4,000 Honda vehicles in November of 2008 has grown into a global, multi-brand issue affecting millions of vehicles across the globe.
The vehicles are being recalled due to faulty inflators and propellants in Takata airbags, which have been installed in several vehicle makes and models. When a collision occurs in affected models where the airbags are deployed, the defective inflators have the potential to shatter. The shattered pieces, being propelled by the force of the propellant, can potentially harm vehicle occupants with lacerations. Faulty Takata airbags have been linked to 10 deaths and over 100 injuries since the introduction of the defective product.
We need to pay attention to this because not only have people lost their lives due to faulty inflators placed in Takata airbags, but the vehicle brands affected by these potentially harmful airbags seem to be announcing themselves at a slow pace.
The Takata recall is so expansive, that only a little over 2 million of the recalled vehicles have received replacement airbags thus far, and the entire recall replacement process could take years to complete.
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Most recently, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration referenced data showing that some 2001-2003 model year Honda vehicles have up to a 50% chance of a potentially deadly rupture at deployment, and they are urging Honda owners affected by the recall to replace the faulty airbags immediately.
According to Consumer Reports, 14 auto manufacturers have recalled models to replace Takata manufactured airbags. The recalls and repairs for the affected vehicles don’t show many signs of slowing, as new cars are still being produced with questionable airbags.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself During the Takata Airbag Recall?
Keep yourself informed! It’s important to stay up-to-date with information regarding the safety of the airbags in the car you drive. You can find a current list of Takata recalls at the NHTSA website, and you can even sign up for weekly email alerts of new recalls that could affect your vehicle.
The most important thing an affected car owner can do in this situation is be proactive, especially if your car is one of the older models being recalled. Model year, mostly in the early 2000s, seems to have played a significant role in the reported fatalities.
Check and re-check to make sure your car isn’t under a Takata airbag recall, and if you see that it is, contact your dealership to schedule an appointment to replace them.
Your safety is worth more than waiting at the dealership for a few hours. Make repairs a priority for yourself and your family.