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November 10, 2014

What Do You Want to Know About The Takata AirBag Recall?

Airbag-thinkstock-92398905-sThe Takata airbag recall has been a high-profile item in the news lately, because it is said to affect more than 7.8 million vehicles in the United States, and as many as 12 million vehicles globally. And that number changes daily as manufacturers continue to add additional vehicles to the list.

Several Takata airbag defects are linked to injuries and deaths, including a faulty inflator that can explode too forcefully and hurl shards of shrapnel into the passenger compartment toward drivers and passengers.


According to USAToday, Honda has confirmed two deaths related to Takata airbags, and two more are suspected but not confirmed. Meanwhile, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reports six reports of air bag inflator ruptures, all of which occurred in Florida and Puerto Rico, pointing the largest "immediate risk to areas that have consistently hot, humid conditions over extended periods of time." AutoBlog.com says there are at least 139 injuries attributed to this problem from a variety of automakers so far.

If you've received a recall notice to replace a defective Takata airbag, NHTSA urges you to act immediately to take your vehicle in for repair. As a response to the recall, According to DrivingSalesNews.com, AutoNation, the largest U.S. retailer of new cars, trucks and SUVs has announced it will “… stop selling all vehicles equipped with Takata Corp. air bags," and will have any vehicles on their lots repaired before selling them. “We have decided we will not retail any vehicle that needs this air bag repair." said AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson. "We have 400 vehicles on hold. We just park them.”

Airbag-thinkstock-146917964-sOwners of certain Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors vehicles should watch for recall notices to replace defective Takata airbags. A complete list, as of October 22, is below. However, NHTSA advises you check your VIN number periodically, as manufacturers continue to add VINs to the database. Vehicle owners can call the NHTSA Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236. You can find your manufacturer's site using the NHTSA VIN Lookup service here

According to NHTSA more than 7.8 million U.S. vehicles are now connected to these incidents, which have occurred as far back as 18 months ago and as recently as October 20th, 2014. The message comes with urgency, especially for owners of vehicles in high-humidity areas near the Gulf of Mexico including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, as well as Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Honda has recently increased its recall list to more than 5 million vehicles, with the majority of the newly recalled vehicles having been sold or registered in 13 high-humidity states and territories.

"Responding to these recalls, whether old or new, is essential to personal safety and it will help aid our ongoing investigation into Takata airbags and what appears to be a problem related to extended exposure to consistently high humidity and temperatures. However, we’re leaving no stone unturned in our aggressive pursuit to track down the full geographic scope of this issue," said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman.

Consumers that are uncertain whether their vehicle is impacted by the Takata recalls, or any other recall, can contact their manufacturer’s website to look up information using their vehicle identification number (VIN) to confirm whether their individual vehicle has an open recall that needs to be addressed. Again, you can find your manufacturer's site using the NHTSA VIN Lookup service here.

Owners that have been contacted by their manufacturer should contact their dealer’s service department and make arrangements for the repair. In addition, consumers can sign up for NHTSA recall alerts, which go out before recall letters are mailed by the manufacturers to the affected owners.

Initially, only six makes were involved when Takata announced the fault in April 2013, but the lack of documentation by Takata, and even the hint that there may have been some cover-up regarding their knowledge of the issue, has caused many manufacturers to expand their recalls. Unfortunately, this expansion also impacts how manufacturers are able to keep up with the parts required for the affected models. Toyota has advised its dealers to disable the airbags and put “Do Not Sit Here” messages on the dashboard. General Motors has warned owners of recalled models to ban passengers from the front seat, where they are closest to the possibly defective Takata bags.

According to AutoBlog, Honda spokesperson Chris Martin said the company is working with Takata to have enough inflators to repair all of the affected models. "If we reach a point that a sufficient quantity of replacement inflators is not available, we will work with concerned customers to address their needs until parts are available, including the provision of or reimbursement for temporary alternative transportation."

 

NHTSA Recalls More than 7.8 Million Vehicles Involving Takata Airbags


BMW: 627,615 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan 2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon 2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible
2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe 2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible

Chrysler: 371,309 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 2005 – 2008 Dodge Ram 2500
2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 3500 2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 4500
2008 – Dodge Ram 5500 2005 – 2008 Dodge Durango
2005 – 2008 Dodge Dakota 2005 – 2008 Chrysler 300
2007 – 2008 Chrysler Aspen  

Ford: 58,669 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2004 – Ranger 2005 – 2006 GT
2005 – 2007 Mustang  

General Motors: undetermined total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2005 Pontiac Vibe 2005 – Saab 9-2X

Honda: 5,051,364 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2001 – 2007 Honda Accord) 2001 – 2002 Honda Accord
2001 – 2005 Honda Civic 2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V
2003 – 2011 Honda Element 2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey
2003 – 2007 Honda Pilot 2006 – Honda Ridgeline
2003 – 2006 Acura MDX 2002 – 2003 Acura TL/CL
2005 – Acura RL  

Mazda: 64,872 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2007 Mazda6 2006 – 2007 MazdaSpeed6
2004 – 2008 Mazda RX-8 2004 – 2005 MPV
2004 – B-Series Truck  

Mitsubishi: 11,985 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2004 – 2005 Lancer 2006 – 2007 Raider

Nissan: 694,626 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2001 – 2003 Nissan Maxima 2001 – 2004 Nissan Pathfinder
2002 – 2004 Nissan Sentra 2001 – 2004 Infiniti I30/I35
2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4 2003 – 2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45

Subaru: 17,516 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2005 Baja 2003 – 2005 Legacy
2003 – 2005 Outback 2004 – 2005 Impreza

Toyota: 877,000 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2002 – 2005 Lexus SC 2002 – 2005 Toyota Corolla
2003 – 2005 Toyota Corolla Matrix 2002 – 2005 Toyota Sequoia
2003 – 2005 Toyota Tundra  

This list of potentially affected vehicles is current as of October 22, 2014 and is subject to change and adjustment because there may be cases of vehicles being counted more than once. Owners should check their VIN periodically as manufacturers continue to add VINs to the database. Once owner recall notices are available, owners can retrieve a copy from SaferCar.gov, or will receive one by U.S. mail and are advised to carefully follow the enclosed instructions.

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