Like everyone else, I kept seeing this Takata automotive recall on the News. I figured I had nothing to worry about since I had never heard of the brand, but figured it might make an interesting blog or Facebook post. As I did some research, I could not believe what I discovered. This recall affects almost everyone. If not you, it probably affects someone you know.
Who is this Takata and what is this recall I keep hearing about?
Takata is the biggest manufacturer of airbags in the world. The recall announced Tuesday represents 1 in every 7 cars on the road, totaling nearly 34 million cars and trucks with airbags that are thought to be defective. It is being called the largest consumer recall in history, with almost every automotive manufacturer using these airbags. Manufacturers listed as using this type of airbag include: BMW, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota.
What is wrong with the airbags?
The airbags that are supposed to be deploying to protect passengers during an accident are actually exploding. The exploding airbags are quickly hitting passengers and some are even shooting shrapnel at the victims. Although Takata has been researching the problem, they cannot figure out why this keeps happening.
How serious is the recall?
There have been 5 deaths so far in the United States. There is also a long list of people who have suffered serious injuries. One man had a 3 inch piece of steel go into his face, blinding him.
How do I find out if my car is included in the recall?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is in the process of listing all the cars being recalled. They have a web site dedicated strictly to the Takata recall. To view the site click here. To see if your car is one that may be included in the recall, visit the site and then enter your vehicle’s VIN number. The process is on-going, so if your vehicle is not on the list now, be sure to check back at a later time as it may be added.
Where can I find the VIN number on my car?
The VIN can be found on your registration card. It is also located on a plate on either the dashboard or the driver’s side door. It usually consists of a mix of letters and numbers.
What should I do if I find out my vehicle is on the defective list?
If your car does contain defective airbags, contact a dealership that sells your car to get it replaced. It doesn’t matter if your car wasn’t originally purchased there. Any dealership that sells your brand of car should be able to help you. If you own a brand that has been discontinued, such as a Pontiac, contact any other GM dealer. With 34 million airbags needing to be replaced, be prepared to wait for the repair. The National Highway & Transportation Services Association is working with Takata to come up with a list of cars that should receive priority with repairs. Vehicles that are older or live in states with humidity are considered more dangerous. This is due to the fact that humidity and age are believed to intensify the problem. The airbags will be replaced at no cost to the owner, even if the car is no longer under warranty. Specialists also advise motorists to not disable their airbags. It is illegal for a mechanic to disable them for you and can cause a bigger risk than the recalled airbag.
It is crazy to think that a safety feature designed to protect passengers could actually be causing serious, or even fatal, harm instead.. I checked my car last night and luckily mine is fine, but one woman in the office had to have her airbags replaced. Please check out the recall website to see if your car is on the list. It could literally mean the difference between life and death.
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