In the largest automobile recall in history, vehicle parts supplier Takata has issued a recall for faulty airbags installed in almost 34 million vehicles across 11 different car manufacturers.
The airbags were installed on vehicles manufactured between 2002 and 2008, and could potentially explode, sending shrapnel into the vehicle. Reports indicate that there have been six fatalities and over 100 injuries linked to the airbags.
What’s causing the explosions?
Multiple sources are citing the cause of the problem as moisture seeping into the devices, causing the propellant to become unstable. The airbag then explodes, sending debris into the vehicle and possibly striking drivers or passengers.
Am I at risk?
While there are almost 34 million affected vehicles, the actual reported incidence rate is relatively low. Automakers are prioritizing humid climates because they believe moisture is what’s causing the failure. While it’s a small chance that your airbags will be faulty, it’s still important to check if your vehicle is recalled.
How do I find out if my car is recalled?
Get the vehicle identification number (VIN) from the inside of your door or from the lower driver-side corner of the windshield and enter it into the National Highway Traffic Safety Association’s (NHTSA) webpage for the recall. This page will tell you if your vehicle is part of the recall.
Here’s a list of affected manufacturers:
- General Motors
How long will it take for me to get my vehicle repaired?
Manufacturers are prioritizing humid areas (because of the moisture cause), and supplies are low (Takata’s working at full capacity to create replacements). Estimates say it could even take as long as two years for the company to make the initial 10 million replacement airbags.
Why can’t other suppliers fill the demand?
It’s not so simple. While other suppliers are indeed stepping up to help, the Takata airbags are different than other suppliers. These other suppliers would have to replace or extensively modify their manufacturing processes to produce replacement Takata bags.