Takata Airbag Recall: What You Should Know

Takata Airbag Recall:  What You Should Know

It’s unsettling to think that the very airbag that’s meant to keep you safe in an auto accident could be the cause of serious injuries and even death.  But defective airbags manufactured by the Japanese company, Takata, have already been linked to six fatalities and at least 100 injuries worldwide. Federal transportation officials reportedly placed

It’s unsettling to think that the very airbag that’s meant to keep you safe in an auto accident could be the cause of serious injuries and even death.  But defective airbags manufactured by the Japanese company, Takata, have already been linked to six fatalities and at least 100 injuries worldwide.

Federal transportation officials reportedly placed increasing pressure on Takata to expand its initial recall of about 18 million vehicles.  The company has now agreed to  include 33.8 million.  As Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx explained at a May 19th press conference:  “Up until now, Takata has refused to acknowledge their airbags are defective.  That changes today.”  Foxx  said:  “The Department of Transportation is taking the proactive steps necessary to ensure defective inflators are replaced  with safe ones as quickly as possible, and that the highest risks are addressed first.”

The problem could stem from the chemical that is used to inflate the airbag. Ammonium nitrate tablets are placed in a metal canister inside the airbag.  It’s theorized that this chemical may degrade with time, especially in hot, humid climates.  The flawed airbags are then at risk of inflating too forcefully, leading the canister to explode and send metal  fragments flying like shrapnel into the driver or passenger.

To find out if your car has a potentially defective Takata airbag, you will need your vehicle identification number (VIN).  Then check to see if your model is listed on the National Highway Administration (NHTSA) website www.safercar.gov.

There are no quick fixes, because  this is the largest recall of its kind in the U.S. So be prepared that it could take a while before you get a replacement airbag. Consumer  Reports has a list of questions and answers for concerned consumers.  While it may not be feasible to stop using your car, the publication does suggest limiting your driving time or taking public transportation when possible.

What is not recommended is trying to deactivate the airbag yourself.  But you can go to the NHTSA website for an airbag on-off request form.  Once you get permission from  the NHTSA, you can then take the form to a qualified mechanic to do the deactivation for you.

Consumer Reports, 3/11/15

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Join The GOOD FOR YOU Network!

• Send and Share Good for You Messages with the people who matter in your life

• Check out news and information that's Good for You to Know About