The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just announced that new testing has prompted Takata Corporation, the maker of millions of recalled vehicle air bag deflators, to label an additional 2.7 million defective. The faulty air bag deflators are found in Ford, Nissan and Mazda vehicles.
According to Reuters, defective airbag inflators manufactured by Takata are already linked to 17 deaths and over 180 injuries around the world. The total number of recalled inflators is expected to reach 125 million worldwide, with over 60 million of those in cars in the U.S. The new testing done by NHTSA affects driver-side airbags manufactured between 2012 and 2015.
“This recall now raises serious questions about the threat posed by all of Takata’s ammonium nitrate-based airbags," said U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida in a statement. “If even more are found to be defective, it will take us from the biggest recall ever to something that could become mind-boggling."
How can I find out if my car is affected by the recall?
The following is a list of affected manufacturers. If you have a car by one of these automakers, you can call any franchised dealer for that maker and ask for assistance. If you can find your VIN number, you can also look up your car on NHTSA’s online VIN lookup tool. If your car is affected, you will receive new airbags. However, this process is taking months at a time because the recall is already so large.
- Chrysler (includes Dodge, Jeep)
- General Motors (includes Pontiac, Saab)
- Jaguar/Land Rover
- Toyota / Scion
Will Takata’s bankruptcy keep me from getting a new airbag?
Consumer Reports says no. Although it’s true that Takata Corp. filed for bankruptcy in late June, the bankruptcy won’t absolve the company of any of its responsibilities regarding the faulty airbag inflators or any injuries or deaths they may have caused. Moreover, the company plans to maintain control of the production of the replacement airbags until the demand has been fully met.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car crash and you suspect a faulty airbag contributed to the injury, we urge you to reach out to an experienced personal injury lawyer.