Every day we put a lot of trust in the cars that we drive. When we open the doors we trust that the car will turn on. We trust that the fuel will stay in the tank, and be pushed into the engine at a reasonable speed so it doesnt explode or catch the car on fire. We trust the wheels are properly secured, and our seatbelts will hold us in place. However, there are times that this trust is broken. The manufacturers issue a recall and remedy the problem they have caused.
I own a 2007 Toyota Rav4. Every year I get at least one notice in the mail that there is a recall for some part or another. Sometimes it is in the axle that tends to come loose, other times it is in the window mechanism that can overheat and cause a fire. Regardless of the reason, I am glad that Toyota catches the problem and alerts me to the recall.
Problems arise, however, when the manufacturers try to hide the problem and hope that not too many people are injured or killed. Recalls are expensive and most companies would rather avoid them if at all possible. That is what happened with cars using Takata airbags.
Takata Exploding Airbags
You may have seen in the news that Takata airbags tend to explode. Takata is a Japanese corporation responsible for manufacturing and supplying roughly 20% of the airbags used in vehicles around the world. Airbags put into cars, mostly Honda and Toyota vehicles, between the years 2000 and 2008 (maybe even longer) were defective. When the airbag inflated it would inflate with too much force and cause the housing compartment to explode. This sent deadly shrapnel into the vehicle.
Sometimes mistakes happen. However, the bigger issue is that Takata, and presumably Honda, knew about the issue but failed to remedy it. For years these vehicles were on the road causing injury and death to those driving. This device that was supposed to save lives was now taking them.
An investigation was sparked, and it is still underway, regarding the airbags and their recall. If you drive a car, you should check the NHTSAs recall list before you are potentially injured.