Paying Attention to Vehicle Recalls May Save Your Life

Several times per year auto manufacturers issue a recall on their vehicles. These recalls go on for years and years after the vehicles have entered the market. Many of them are rather benign, such as the power window switch tends to stop working, but others can have some potentially deadly consequences. One of those that has been in the news lately is the recall of vehicles that were built using Takata airbags.

What are Takata Airbags?

Takata is a Japanese corporation that supplies airbags to about 20% of the world’s market of vehicles. This huge company has established roots in the auto safety industry, and they are very good at making airbags. Vehicles such as Honda, Toyota, Ford, Chevy, and many others have used these airbags.

What is the Takata Airbag Recall?

The Takata airbag recall has many different facets. First, it was very widespread; millions of vehicles were affected. Second, it spanned many years; vehicles as old as 2000 are on the recall list. And Third, the company tried to cover up the problems rather than issue a recall right away.

Because the company supplies airbags to many different companies, that means the airbags are sent all over the world. While Japanese automakers use these airbags more than American or European automakers, they are still all affected. It also means that these vehicles may be in Canada, near the coast, in temperate zones, in sub-tropical zones, and everything in-between.

The recall affects “older” vehicles in part because of the cover-up that was done. Instead of addressing the problem when it came up, the company tried to save the money that a recall would have cost by brushing it aside. And it worked for a number of years, but eventually it caught up to them. After dozens of accidents occurred with the faulty airbag, they had no choice, and they were forced to do a recall.

What is Wrong with Takata Airbags?

These airbags still deploy. The issue isn’t that they won’t deploy when needed. The issue is that they deploy too often and too hard. In fact, a small fender bender, one that never should have deployed the airbag, can cause it to explode open. These airbags explode open with so much force that the housing compartment literally shatters. This sends deadly shrapnel into the cab of the vehicle and can maim or kill the occupant.

There have been dozens of reports of people who have suffered permanent injuries, and several reports of occupants of vehicles that were killed by these airbags.

If you drive a vehicle that was made since the year 2000, you must check out the list of recalled vehicles.