Takata Corp. recently recalled 33.8 million cars and trucks because of a problem with the vehicles’ air bags. This recall is the largest recall of its kind in history. According to the U.S. Transportation Secretary, this recall is probably the most complex consumer safety recall in history.
The recalled air bags can explode violently, sending metal fragments flying into the vehicle. A slow-motion video of an airbag rupturing showed shrapnel flying in the driver’s direction, which in some cases can cause death or serious personal injury. Until now, Takata refused to acknowledge that their airbags are defective. The airbags are believed to be responsible for six deaths and over 100 injuries.
Until this major recall, Takata blamed the issue on humidity, and said the issue was limited to very humid environments. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, moisture from humidity can leak into the airbag inflator, which changes the properties of the chemical used to inflate the bags. When that happens, the explosive force can rupture the metal, sending shrapnel flying.
The NHTSA says that it could be days before it knows all the vehicles affected by the recall. Ten major automakers have already issued recalls for about 17 million vehicles in the U.S., and this latest recall will double the amount of vehicles recalled to almost 34 million. However, many car owners are unaware there is even a problem.
Once more becomes known about the recalled vehicles, it’s critical that you check to make sure your vehicle is not affected. You can do this by entering your vehicle identification number at safercar.gov