Toyota Motor Corp recently announced that it is recalling another 1.7 million vehicles worldwide because of potentially defective Takata airbags. According to Reuters, Ford Motor Co also recently announced that it was recalling 953,000 vehicles worldwide for the same reason.
The Takata air bag recall, which began in 2016, is recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as the largest vehicle recall in U.S. history. The potentially defective Takata airbags were installed in vehicles made by at least 19 different manufacturers between 2001 and 2016. About 37 million vehicles total were equipped with the dangerous airbags.
What is wrong with the airbags?
There is a problem with the chemical in the airbag that is used to inflate it in a crash. The problem can cause the airbags to explode and send pieces of metal toward the occupants of the vehicle. Numerous injuries and at least 23 deaths worldwide have been caused by the faulty airbag inflators; 15 of those deaths occurred in the U.S.
How do I know if my vehicle is affected by the recall?
Because the defect is exacerbated by long-term heat and humidity, the recall was organized to occur in phases over several years. Older vehicles registered in hot, humid climates were at greater risk of causing injuries, so they took priority in the recall.
Because the recalls are occurring in phases, it may be a good idea to periodically recheck your vehicle for recalls. NHTSA recommends checking for recalls at least twice per year while more vehicles are being added to the recall list. Vehicles will continue to be added to the recall list through 2020.
The defective Takata airbags are dangerous products. If your vehicle has recalled airbags in it, you should schedule an appointment right away with your car dealer to make the repair for free.