The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has implemented one of the “largest and most complex vehicle recalls” in the history of the United States: the Takata airbag recalls. Due to the widespread use of Takata airbags by various manufacturers, the defective airbag is present in millions of vehicles, primarily those with model years ranging from 2002 to 2015, as reported by Consumer Reports.
Which Vehicles Are Affected by the Takata Airbag Recall?
Makes affected by the NHTSA recall include Acura, BMW, Chrysler, Ferrari, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and more. Since so many vehicles have Takata airbags installed in either the passenger side, the driver’s side, or both, the recall is being conducted in stages as, at the moment, there are not enough resources to carry out a full-scale recall all at once. For perspective, the recall currently includes 63 million airbags from over 43 million vehicles throughout the nation. All recall repairs are carried out free of charge in the name of public and consumer safety.
According to Consumer Reports, the recall is prioritizing repairs to vehicles deemed to be at a high risk, which comprises 2001 to 2003 Honda and Acura vehicles that have “alpha” airbags installed, the 1999 BMW 323i and 328i, and the 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series pickup trucks.
How Dangerous Are Takata Airbags?
Takata airbags have been known to explode when deployed, causing metal shrapnel to fly throughout the passenger and/or driver cabins. In the U.S. alone, 17 people have been killed as a result of this defect and more than 200 injuries have occurred. According to the NHTSA, the main issue with the airbag is that it was manufactured with an ammonium-nitrate-based propellant but without any chemical drying agent.
Therefore, the recall is important to act on. Most dealerships will help their customers with any recall work. In fact, your dealership is likely to notify you should your vehicle need an airbag replacement. You do not have to wait to be notified, however. If you think your vehicle might have a Takata airbag, it is advisable to look up your vehicle identification number (VIN) in the NHTSA database so you can see if your vehicle has been affected by the recall.
Does Environment Matter?
Takata airbags are more likely to be defective in humid and/or hot environments, such as Hawaii, Georgia, Florida, and the like. If you only travel to hot or humid environments for a portion of the year, especially during the less humid or hot seasons, then your vehicle is at a lower risk than those belonging to year-round residents.
For the purpose of this recall, the NHTSA has categorized U.S. states, jurisdictions, and territories into the following zones:
- Zone A: Alabama, American Samoa, California, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, the Northern Mariana Islands (or Saipan), Puerto Rico, South Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Texas.
- Zone B: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.
- Zone C: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Have You Been Injured by a Defective Airbag?
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from the Takata airbag or another defective auto part, our attorneys at Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. will fight to protect your rights and those of consumers put in similar precarious situations. We have advocated for Pittsburgh residents for more than 40 years; we are more than ready to take on negligent auto manufacturers on your behalf.
Contact Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C. online to learn how we can help you.