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Takata Air Bag Q&A – Everything You Need to Know

Emma D'Arpino4 months ago

The recent recall of defective Takata air bags has sparked numerous common questions for U.S. vehicle owners.  A report from Reuters provided answers for some of those frequently asked questions.  

Common Takata Recall Questions

Q: If the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has determined that the air bags in my vehicle are at risk of rupturing, why hasn’t my vehicle been recalled?

A: NHTSA says the highest-risk vehicles, such as vehicles in areas of extreme humidity (high humidity and heat increase risk of rupturing), have already been recalled, and manufacturers are working to expand the recall to include all vehicles of risk. 

Q: Exactly how is NHTSA staging these recalls and what is the rationale behind its schedule?

A: NHTSA has a formula to phase in the recalls in five stages.  The first priority is to recall vehicles in states with high humidity, such as Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas.  NHTSA also prioritizes recalling inflators in older vehicles.  It is expected that the entire recall process will take at least three and a half years. 

Q: Even if my vehicle has not been recalled, how can I tell if the air bags are at risk of rupturing?

A: NHTSA and manufacturers are still determining which specific vehicles with Takata air bags pose a risk.  Recently, NHTSA has been exploring which inflators were made with ammonium nitrate, but without a drying agent to alleviate exposure to moisture (moisture contamination of ammonium nitrate propellant is one factor that has been determined to be a reason why Takata inflators have ruptured). 

Q: How can I tell if my vehicle has been recalled for defective Takata air bag inflators?

A: NHTSA has a complete list of recalled vehicles, with a specific section of recalled vehicles due to Takata air bags, which can be found at www.safecar.gov.  Additionally, NHTSA’s online VIN lookup tool can be used to look if the Vehicle Identification Number of an automobile is one that is included in the Takata recall database. 

Additional Important Information About the Takata Recall:

All information is provided by CNBC

  • Defective Takata inflators have been linked to at least 13 deaths and over 100 injuries worldwide. 
  • Recalled vehicles include vehicles built between 2002 and 2011.
  • The total worldwide Takata recall is approaching 70 million.
  • Takata agreed to declare as many as 40 million additional inflators defective by 2019, involving recalls by 17 automakers. 

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