The recent recall of Takata airbags is one of the largest in consumer history. Since July of 2017, nearly 46 million defective, potentially dangerous airbags manufactured by the Japanese company have been recalled. Around 34 million cars, trucks and other vehicles have been affected worldwide.
It looks as if the recall is only going to get larger. Last week, Takata expanded its initial recall by another 3.3 million airbag inflators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in collaboration with several automakers, has announced the models and years of automobiles that will be affected by the latest product recall.
The latest vehicles affected
The recently-expanded recall applies to the frontal airbags in various 2009, 2010 and 2013 vehicles from manufacturers Audi, BMW, Daimler Vans, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitzubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Tesla and Toyota. Automakers are expected to release information about the specific models that are affected to the NHTSA later this month.
The reason for the recall
An alarming discovery regarding the chemical used to inflate Takata’s airbags prompted the massive recall. The company uses ammonium nitrate to trigger a small explosion in its airbags, causing them to inflate rapidly upon impact. Over time, however, the chemical deteriorates—especially in humid conditions and high temperatures. When ammonium nitrate deteriorates, it can prompt a metal canister in the airbag to explode, subjecting drivers to shards of burning-hot shrapnel. The airbags have caused 20 deaths and 180 injuries worldwide.
What consumers should do
Automobile owners who are concerned that their vehicle may contain the recalled airbags are encouraged to contact their auto manufacturer for more information. The website of the NHTSA also includes detailed information about the makes, models and years of the automobiles affected. Consumers who have been injured by a Takata airbag or suspect that the company’s airbag may have exacerbated their injuries may wish to contact an attorney who deals with product liability.