After years of scandal, millions of dollars in fines and even criminal
charges, the Takata airbag fiasco doesn’t show signs of fading anytime
soon. In January,
automakers Ford and Toyota collectively added more than 1.3 million affected vehicles to the recall
list for faulty airbag inflators. Since the first investigations began in 2013,
Consumer Reports says that as of this month, the number of vehicles impacted by the recall
now exceeds 42 million in the United States alone. The
NHTSA predicts the recall will continue through 2019, making it the most extensive automobile
safety recall in U.S. history.
The root of the problem for the affected vehicles lies with the inflator
mechanism inside the airbags, made by Japanese auto part company Takata
Corporation. The faulty design can cause the inflator to rupture and explode
during a crash, sending metallic shards into the vehicle as the airbag
inflates. So far, these airbags have been responsible for at least 180
injuries in the U.S., as well as 11 fatalities.
Is My Vehicle Affected?
The airbag recall impacts vehicles from nearly 20 auto makers, mainly in
vehicles manufactured between 2002 and 2015. The NHTSA has provided a
convenient VIN lookup so you can discover whether your vehicle is on the recall list. If so,
don’t put off having your vehicle serviced, as these airbags can
literally be life-threatening in the event of an accident. Take your vehicle
to a local dealership as soon as possible to have a replacement part installed for free.
For additional information about keeping your vehicle safe, check out our post on
Ten Commonly Overlooked Auto Safety Issues.
If you’ve been injured in an accident due to defective auto parts
or other issues, our
Washington D.C. automobile injury attorneys
can help. Call our office for more information