Noble McIntyre on May 20, 2015
Our cars have airbags to keep us safe – but a serious defect is actually putting us in greater danger. One of the world’s largest airbag manufacturers, the Japanese company Takata, acknowledged yesterday that its products have been malfunctioning for a long time. While Takata airbags have been subject to recalls prior to now, the recall has been expanded to double the number of vehicles recalled in the United States.
Right now, about one in seven vehicles in the U.S. are subject to the recall—that’s more than 250 million cars on the road. The problem? These airbags can explode when they deploy, which could send flying shrapnel into the car’s passenger compartment. At this time, there are six deaths and over 100 injuries believed to be associated with this defect.
The NHTSA has not yet announced what models are affected by the Takata airbag recall. Honda, Chrysler, Nissan and other manufacturers have recalled U.S. vehicles because of the defect, but there will be more specifics in the upcoming days. Those manufacturers, along with Toyota and BMW are expected to review their vehicles to determine which cars will be affected by the recall.
You can still drive your car if it is subject to the Takata airbag recall. An NHTSA administrator, Mark Rosekind, said in a New York Times story that because of the significant number of cars recalled, it could take years to get the airbags replaced. When the specific list of recalled vehicles is announced, you can call your dealership to find out when new airbags will be available and have them replaced as soon as possible.