Regulators with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have alerted drivers nationwide that despite having issued its first Takata-related recall in 2008, 13 years ago, over 17 million Takata airbags remain unrepaired. According to the agency, more than 4,000 of these vehicles fall into the high-risk “do not drive” category, and yet, they are still on U.S. roads.
The many Takata-related recalls issued over the years involve vehicles fitted with airbags inflators that use ammonium-nitrate-based propellant wafers that can ignite with explosive force.
Due to long-term exposure to high heat and humidity, these wafers become more likely to explode. In the event of an accident, the airbag explosion will lead to the spraying of metal shards from the airbag into the passenger cabin. Occupants can then be hit by one of these metal shards, increasing the risk of injury and even death.
So far, officials have registered at least 19 deaths and over 400 injuries associated with this problem nationwide.
High-Risk Vehicle Owners: Were You Contacted?
If you own one of the high-risk vehicles, the manufacturers should have already contacted you in the past years.
According to Consumer Reports, one of the deadly accidents associated with the Takata airbags happened after Honda attempted to contact the registered car owner several times. Unfortunately, the firm stated, the driver never got the vehicle to a dealership to have the issue repaired.
If you worry your car may have been recalled over this or any other safety issue, go to the NHTSA’s Recalls.gov website to look for any open recalls impacting your vehicle. Additionally, make sure your car’s maker has your updated contact information. This will help to ensure you’ll receive important recall-related notices in the mail.
Takata Airbag Recalls Associated With Major Automakers
Over the years, all major automakers released recall reports prompted by Takata airbag problems. They include Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Mazda, Honda, General Motors, Ford, BMW, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen, Tesla, and others.
Unfortunately, not all vehicles were promptly repaired. According to regulators, many automakers struggled to find replacement parts for the millions of vehicles carrying the defective airbag inflators. In order to help drivers who were in immediate danger, companies recalled high-risk units first.
If you own one of the vehicles fitted with the Takata airbags and you still haven’t taken your car to a dealership, consider doing so as soon as possible.
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