How to Tell if Your Car is Affected by the Takata Airbag Recall

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Car manufacturer recalls can range from what are frequently minor concerns that impact whether a vehicle meets minimum safety standards to extremely serious problems that can cause death.
If the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) receives a certain number of complaints about a vehicle, the process for a recall begins. After screening the complaints, conducting an analysis, and doing an investigation, NHTSA or the automaker itself may initiate a recall if it is determined that there is an unreasonable safety risk or the vehicle fails to meet minimum safety standards. Here’s everything you need to know about the Takata airbag recall.

All about the Takata airbag recall

The Takata airbag recall goes way back to 2004. In 2014, the first news report by the New York Times was published stating that Takata “saw and hid risk in airbags in 2004” as well as dangerous defects with its airbags years before the company filed paperwork with federal regulators.
The Takata airbag recall is serious. Millions of vehicles are impacted. According to Reuters, as of July 2017 there have been 11 confirmed deaths and more than 180 injuries related to exploding airbag inflators. Not only does a defective airbag increase the risk of serious injury during a crash or incident, this particular recall states that metal pieces and shrapnel are coming from the airbags at the time of inflation, severely injuring vehicle occupants.
Recalls officially began in November 2008. Over time, more automakers became involved in the recall. By February of 2017, Takata pleaded guilty to deceiving automakers about the safety of its airbags. In June of 2017, Takata filed for Bankruptcy.
Another important item of note: the inflators seem to be more vulnerable to high humidity and high temperatures, so states have been organized by NHTSA into zones with those hotter, more humid states being prioritized for repairs.

Takata airbag recall impacts 19 automakers

There are currently 19 automakers who have vehicles affected by the Takata airbag recall with model years ranging from 2002 to 2015. The automakers include:

How to tell if the Takata recall impacts you

Note: not all models by the 19 affected automakers were impacted by the Takata airbag recall. If your automaker is included, there are several resources available to determine if your specific make and model is a part of the recall.
These resources include:
  • Your specific automaker’s website. Automakers often have a website dedicated to assisting their customers locate information related to recalls on their vehicles.
  • Powered by NHTSA, this site allows consumers to look up recalls by vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • NHTSA The government website has an easy-to-use tool to search for recalls based on your VIN so you can see if your specific vehicle has been impacted by a recall and repaired.
  • The automotive resource provides information on recent recalls and the ability to search recalls by vehicle make.
Don’t ignore a recall on your vehicle. It’s recommended to check for any recalls and related repairs before you purchase a new or used vehicle, as well as every few months during ownership. Ensuring that any recalls are repaired immediately can keep you safe while driving.
You can be liable for an incident that could have been avoided if ignore a known recall-related repair. Keep yourself and your passengers safe, and your insurance premiums low by immediately handling any recalls, such as the Takata airbag recall, on your car.

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