Is Your Car on the Airbag Recall List?
You may have heard about the recall almost 34 million airbags. Well, the number keeps growing. Honda recalled an additional 4.5 million cars just yesterday. Toyota expanded its American recall to over 2.9 million on June 16th. Perhaps you have wondered whether your car is affected and if you need to be concerned. Given that so many airbags have already been recalled, it would be wise to make sure you understand the problem and find out if your car is on the recall list.
What’s the Issue
Takata manufactures a lot of airbags which end up in cars on American roads. The problem is that the airbags can “deploy explosively, injuring or even killing car occupants.” The issue seems to be focused on the right side of the car, which is the passenger side in the US.
The danger is apparently so great that if you have a car with one of these airbags, you are recommended to avoid driving it, if possible. In some cases, dealerships are actually disengaging the airbags rather than keep them active when replacements are not immediately available. This is a controversial choice.
The problem is, due to the number of recalls, there is a shortage of airbags. As a result, the time it takes to get the airbag replaced is quite long. People who have no choice but to drive their cars find themselves in a very worrisome situation.
Are People Getting Hurt?
Takata is claiming that there have been no injuries as a result of the recall, but others claim at least 6 deaths and over 100 injuries.
On July 8, Nissan reported on an exploding airbag that was a near miss for the driver. According to Nissan:
“the car, carrying only the driver, was hit on the driver side. The inflator on the passenger side exploded, smashing the passenger-side window and sending high-temperature fragments into the dashboard, causing a fire. The driver’s left cheek was lightly burned though it was unclear if the injury was caused by the inflator exploding, the spokesman said. In Japan, the driving seat is on the right-hand side of the car. The case is Nissan’s first known abnormal deployment of a Takata inflator in Japan, and the fifth confirmed case in the country across automakers. Nissan said there have been nine similar cases involving its cars in the United States.”
Is Your Car’s Airbag Recalled?
Since the recall list keeps growing, it is important to check from time-to-time to make sure your car is not on the list. You can check by entering your car’s vin number into the US government’s recall check tool. If you do not have your vin number readily available, you might want to at least see if your car’s make, model and year is on the list, below the tool. However, please keep in mind that the list is getting updated and your car might not be on the list today, but could be on it in a week or a month.