Japanese Airbag Manufacturer Takata Announces Largest Ever Recall in the US
Largest recall in US history involving 33.8 million cars worldwide was announced today eclipsing the previous largest recall when 31 million bottles of Tylenol were recalled in 1982 .
Since 2008 Takata Airbags have been under scrutiny. Honda alone has reported 6 deaths and over 60 injuries attributed to Takata airbags. They have recalled millions of vehicles going back to 2008 and just last year recalled an additional 5.5 million vehicles.
The problem is theorized to be caused by a fault in the inflator due to exposure to high humidity and heat. Most cars involved were in California, Hawaii, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The faulty inflators, which are similar to a solid fuel rocket, break apart and spray metal shards as projectiles into occupants, but the exact mechanism is still under investigation. Gruesome photos of victims with shrapnel wounds to the head and face have been shown at trial that illustrate the horrifying effects of the airbag defects. First responders to these accidents have reported that the victims looked like they had been shot or stabbed.
Since 2013, 10 automakers have recalled approx 17 million vehicles to replace airbags, but now the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) says the number has increased to 33.8 million and include vehicles made by the following manufacturers:
BMW AG, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Honda Motor Co., Mazda Motor Co., Mitsubishi, Nissan Motor Co., Subaru Motors USA and Toyota Motor Corp
Earlier this year, the 10 auto manufacturers as a group appointed Orbital ATK an aerospace defense firm to test Takata units installed in their vehicles.
How Do You Know if Your Car is Safe?
At the moment, you can look up your vehicle by VIN to see if your particular vehicle has been involved in a recall in the past 15 years. Since this recall is evolving, you are urged to check the site periodically as manufacturers add new VIN's as they learn which vehicles are involved.
For more information, the NHTSA provides regular updates on a website created specifically for this recall by the NHTSA website http://www.safercar.gov/rs/takata/index.html