News about Takata Airbags–Not Just a Lot of Hot Air

Takata's Dangerous Air Bags - Recalls are in the Millions

Takata’s Dangerous Air Bags – 11 million recalled at last count. (Credit: Bloomberg, Center for Automotive Safety)

Airbag manufacturer Takata has been in the news a lot lately. But the saying “no news is bad news” doesn’t apply for Takata these days. Their dangerous airbags are a big problem for them as it is for Honda and Toyota. Moreover, there are plenty of auto manufacturers that Takata has supplied, which are nervous.  On the heels of some enormous settlements/fines with GM and Toyota, automakers including BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Mazda, Subaru and Nissan are facing the potential of auto products liability lawsuits.

What’s so bad about Takata airbags? Well, if you don’t mind getting shrapnel hurled at your face, neck or chest if your airbags deploy in a collision, then I suppose you’re fine. But a driver in a low speed collision had shrapnel fly into her eye socket in Florida. Also in Florida, another had her throat gashed with stab-like wounds that made the police think initially that the passenger was murdered. Turns out that it was the metal flying from a Takata airbag explosion.

Here’s what’s extra worrisome for those who have these cars in the more humid areas of the country–ahem, like the Pacific Northwest and like the Gulf Coast regions: The danger is heightened when there is more moisture in the air. When a Takata airbag, especially in an older model vehicle, inflates during a car accident, it can tear loose and blow out pieces of its housing that would fly into the car occupants’ face and/or upper bodies. As horrifying as this all sounds, car owners have been lackadaisical about responding to these recall notices. GM reported that only about 10% of its affected vehicles were brought in.

If there is a silver lining in any of this, it’s hopefully that car owners will take action and take their cars to address potentially faulty Takata airbags. If your car is on the recall list (or you’re just understandably concerned and cautious because you don’t want shrapnel to gash your face/neck/chest in a crash), call NHTSA’s safety hotline (1-888-327-4236) or use your car’s VIN to see if you’re affected by this or any other reported problem.

Below is a tally taken since October 22, 2014, but more will likely join the list:

BMW: 627,615 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan
2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon
2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible
2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe
2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible

Chrysler: 371,309 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2003 – 2008 Dodge Ram 1500
2005 – 2008 Dodge Ram 2500
2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 3500
2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 4500
2008 – Dodge Ram 5500
2005 – 2008 Dodge Durango
2005 – 2008 Dodge Dakota
2005 – 2008 Chrysler 300
2007 – 2008 Chrysler Aspen

Ford: 58,669 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2004 – Ranger
2005 – 2006 GT
2005 – 2007 Mustang

General Motors: undetermined total number of potentially affected vehicles

2003 – 2005 Pontiac Vibe
2005 – Saab 9-2X

Honda: 5,051,364 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2001 – 2007 Honda Accord
2001 – 2005 Honda Civic
2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V
2003 – 2011 Honda Element
2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey
2003 – 2007 Honda Pilot
2006 – Honda Ridgeline
2003 – 2006 Acura MDX
2002 – 2003 Acura TL/CL
2005 – Acura RL

Mazda: 64,872 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2003 – 2007 Mazda6
2006 – 2007 MazdaSpeed6
2004 – 2008 Mazda RX-8
2004 – 2005 MPV
2004 – B-Series Truck

Mitsubishi: 11,985 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2004 – 2005 Lancer
2006 – 2007 Raider

Nissan: 694,626 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2001 – 2003 Nissan Maxima
2001 – 2004 Nissan Pathfinder
2002 – 2004 Nissan Sentra
2001 – 2004 Infiniti I30/I35
2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4
2003 – 2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45

Subaru: 17,516 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2005 Baja
2003 – 2005 Legacy
2003 – 2005 Outback
2003 – 2005 Baja
2004 – 2005 Impreza

Toyota: 877,000 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2002 – 2005 Lexus SC
2002 – 2005 Toyota Corolla
2003 – 2005 Toyota Corolla Matrix
2002 – 2005 Toyota Sequoia
2003 – 2005 Toyota Tundra

(Source: NHTSA)

 

 

 

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