[Editor’s note: Last updated on January 6, 2021, using data provided on the NHTSA website.]
We’re now into 2021, seven years after the federal government called for a nationwide Takata airbag recall in 2014. It’s the largest automotive recall in U.S. history and one that’s expanded more than once to now include some 63 million inflators in the U.S. As of December 2020, nearly 40 million airbags from 12 Priority groups identified by NHTSA have been repaired. You can check out the progress in the graph below.
The recalled Takata airbags can explode if deployed due to chemical degradation and are blamed for 17 deaths and more than 200 injuries here in the U.S. A separate group of defective Takata airbags was also recalled in late 2019 and is separate from the much larger recall.
SEPTEMBER 30, 2020: Last deadline for non-desiccated PSAN inflator recalls to launch (and vehicle manufacturers must have sufficient parts available for repairs).
NHTSA warns consumers to be aware of two critically important details about the original Takata recall:
1. The Danger of “Alpha” Air Bags: Certain 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles, 2006 Ford Ranger, and Mazda B-Series trucks are at a far higher risk for an air bag explosion that could injure or kill vehicle occupants. These are referred to as “Alpha” air bags. These vehicles can and should be repaired immediately. Do not drive these vehicles with Takata air bags unless you are going straight to a dealer to have them repaired immediately.
2. Additional Vehicles Will Be Recalled: Additional air bags were scheduled to be recalled by December 2019, bringing the total number of affected air bags to around 65-70 million. These vehicles may not currently appear affected by this recall using a VIN search. Sign up for Recall Alerts and make sure the address on your registration is current to be sure you’re notified of this or any other future recall.
DECEMBER 4, 2019 According the Associated Press, a new deadly airbag defect has been discovered in another version of Takata airbags. It is leading to the recall of 1.4 million additional vehicles from BMW, Audi, Honda and Mitsubishi.
December 21, 2018: NHTSA issues Takata update to update consumers.
July 18, 2018: A government audit into the NHTSA’s handling of the Takata recall attributes 15 deaths and more than 220 injuries in the U.S. to the faulty airbags that can explode due to the breakdown of a chemical propellant. The report also faults the NHTSA for a lack of oversight into its recall processes.
July 13, 2018:NHTSA urged automakers to speed up their completion rates and post their repair updates on their websites.
June 7, 2018: The NHTSA urged South Florida drivers to check their vehicle VIN numbers to see if their vehicle is under recall. The region is a high-risk area due to heat and humidity. Those are two factors that can cause the airbags chemical propellant to break down and cause an explosion when the inflator is deployed.
NHSTA urges all drivers to stay informed and safe by taking the following five actions:
Visit NHTSA.gov/recalls to find out if your car or truck is under recall. Search using your VIN. Your search result will tell you if your car or truck is included in this or any other safety recall at this time. Vehicles scheduled for future recalls will not show up in this search, so it is important that you check regularly, at least twice per year.
If your vehicle does have a recall, call your local dealer to schedule the free repair. Just remember that in the Takata air bag recalls, there are priority groups; parts are only available for certain vehicles starting on certain dates.
Sign up at NHTSA.gov/Alerts to be notified by e-mail if your vehicle is affected by a future recall.
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