You might be driving one of the nearly 8 million vehicles affected by a
recent airbag recall. On October 21, 2014, the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a Consumer Advisory, warning drivers
to immediately replace defective airbags manufactured by Takata Corp.,
a Japanese airbag supplier.
A properly functioning airbag slows forward momentum, protecting an occupant
against the impact of a car crash. It prevents the driver from slamming
into the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield. But the Takata airbag
explodes with excessive force, firing metal and plastic parts in the faces
and/or upper bodies of unsuspecting occupants, causing severe injuries
and even death. In fact, a Florida woman passed away after sustaining
multiple injuries in a serious car crash, including several deep gashes
in her neck. Authorities later confirmed that debris exploding from her
airbag caused the mysterious "stab wounds."
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/21/business/it-looked-like-a-stabbing-but-takata-air-bag-was-the-killer.html.To date, the Takata airbags have been linked to several deaths and over
100 other injuries.
Investigations are ongoing, but it seems Takata incorrectly handled the
chemicals that produce the gas that inflates the airbag. Heat increases
this risk, so the recall is most urgent for warmer, more humid climates. See
The Wall Street Journal now reports the U.S. Attorney's Office is investigating
whether Takata has made misleading statements about its airbags to federal
safety regulators and automakers.
AFFECTED VEHICLES: Since the early 2000s, Takata has sold defective airbags to BMW, Chrysler,
Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and GM automakers.
See the full list of vehicles here:
Consumer feedback is crucial - even if your vehicle hasn't been recalled,
your questions about its safety are valid! Notify NHTSA's Office of
Defects Investigation (ODI) if you have concerns about the vehicle, tires,
and other equipment, including car seats. You can file a Safety Complaint at
or call (888) 327-4236; TTY (800) 424-9153.
NEXT STEPS: If your car is affected by a safety recall, the vehicle's manufacturer
will mail you a notice. It is a good idea to look up your car on NHTSA's website (
www.safercar.gov/vinlookup), and the manufacturer's website, using your 17-digit Vehicle Identification
Number (VIN). For more advance notice, register on Safercar.gov to receive
recall alerts by email, text, or RSS feed. There are also mobile apps
for Apple and Android devices. Contact your car dealer's service department
as soon as possible to schedule necessary repairs. Your manufacturer should
fix your vehicle or equipment free of charge.