Everything You Need To Know: Takata Airbag Recall Update
In 2014, the New York Times published a report indicating airbag manufacturer Takata knowingly produced defective airbags for more than a decade. Since then, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued escalating levels of recalls for Takata airbags.
In December 2020, the NHTSA expanded its Takata airbag recall to include more than 63 million airbags nationwide. Learn what this recall means if you drive an affected vehicle, and discover the steps you should take if you’ve been injured by a recalled Takata airbag.
Why Are Certain Takata Airbags Dangerous?
According to recent tests performed by the NHTSA, certain Takata airbags have a 50% chance to explode upon deployment. Other airbags produced by this manufacturer have less than a 1% chance of exploding.
These explosions affect both the airbag and its inflator, which contains metal parts. The metal parts in the inflator can impact the face and neck of a car’s occupant like shrapnel, causing injury or death.
Takata Airbag Recall Timeline
Let’s briefly summarize the history of the NHTSA’s Takata airbag recall:
- 2014: The New York Times publishes its Takata report. The NHTSA calls for a recall, and both Honda and Ford issue statements of compliance.
- 2015: Close to 10 Americans are killed by defective Takata airbags. National recall efforts expand, Takata faces $14,000 daily fines for failing to cooperate with the federal government, and a database of affected VINs is established.
- 2016: More than 7 million airbags have been repaired. The Takata recall doubles in size to include more than 40 million defective airbags. Practically every major automobile manufacturer participates in the recall effort.
- 2017: Takata pleads guilty to deceiving automakers, then files for bankruptcy. Recall and repair efforts continue.
- 2018: Facing multiple lawsuits, Takata agrees to create a trust fund to compensate victims of exploding airbags.
- 2019: The Takata airbag bodycount in the United States increases to 16. Recall efforts expand.
- 2020: GM ramps up its recall efforts. The NHTSA expands its national recall to include over 63 million airbags.
Is Your Car A Risk?
Defective Takata airbags have proven to be especially problematic for specific car models. The following vehicles have been placed on the NHTSA’s “do not drive” warning list:
- Certain 2001 to 2003 Honda and Acura vehicles
- 2006 Ford Ranger
- 2006 Mazda B-Series
- 1999 BMW 323i
- 1999 BMW 328i
Even if your car is not listed above, it may still contain one or more defective Takata airbags.
How To Check If Your Car is on the Recall List
The NHTSA has compiled a database of vehicle models that contain defective Takata airbags. As a result, it’s easy to determine if your vehicle is at risk:
- Find your car’s VIN number by looking at the lower driver-side corner of your windshield from outside the vehicle
- Write down the VIN number, or take a picture
- Type your VIN into the box provided at nhtsa.gov/recalls
- Alternatively, you can call the NHTSA at 1-888-327-4236
It may also be useful to search for your vehicle’s make and model online in combination with the keyword “Takata airbag.” Depending on the model of your car, particular airbags may be affected while others are not.
What Level of Risk Do You Face?
There are some important statistics to keep in mind as you evaluate the risk that Takata airbags may pose to your health and well-being:
- As of 2015, only 88 Takata airbag ruptures had been recorded
- The Department of Transportation estimates that airbags prevented 37,000 car accident fatalities between 1987 and 2012
- There’s only a 50% chance that a defective Takata airbag will explode when deployed
All things considered, your risk of being harmed by a defective Takata airbag is low. Harmful airbag explosions have only occurred in warm, humid climates. Unless you live in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, or other southeastern states, your risk of being affected by a Takata airbag explosion is essentially negligible.
Simple Tips to Stay Safe
The best way to protect your safety is to avoid driving vehicles that have been included in the NHTSA’s recall until adequate repairs have been completed. Carpooling, trading in your car, and finding alternative means of transportation will eliminate your risk of being harmed by an affected airbag.
Additionally, consider following these basic safety procedures:
- Determine which airbags in your vehicle are faulty. If the passenger airbag is defective, but not the driver-side airbag, consider driving your vehicle without passengers.
- Driving slowly reduces the likelihood that your airbag will deploy in the event of a collision.
Explore Your Options with Berberian Ain
If you or someone you know has been injured by a recalled Tataka airbag, you may be eligible for compensation. The best way to determine your eligibility for a personal injury claim is to call Berberian Ain at (818) 808-0048.
Our team of experts will evaluate your case and determine the best course of action. Call Berberian Ain today for a free consultation.