Defective Takata Air Bags: A Free Repair Could Save Your Life

Takata Air Bag
In 2013, a series of deaths and injuries associated with defective Takata air bag inflators led the company to initially recall 3.6 million cars, trucks and SUVs. Further fatalities caused by the airbags have led the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to order an ongoing, nationwide recall of more than 40 million vehicles. By December 2019 that number is expected to grow to 65-70 million*, the largest automotive recall in U.S. history.

Now, six years since the first recall notice, only about 67% of these defective air bags have been replaced. In some cases owners have been notified that their vehicle is unsafe, but their local dealership hasn’t received the necessary replacement parts. In other cases, car and truck owners have every intention of getting their free repair, but simply don’t get around to it.

There’s No Time Like the Present

Check out the NHTSA recall database to find out if your car, truck, or SUV is under recall for defective air bags, or any other issue you may be unaware of. Entering your vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) will help you get your vehicle up to date with any critical issues that could be dangerous for you or your family.

If your vehicle does have a recall, call your local dealer to schedule your free repair. Just remember that in the Takata air bag recall, there are priority groups; parts are only available for certain vehicles starting on certain dates.

Where is My VIN Located?

For cars, trucks, vans and SUVs, check your vehicle documents such as title, registration card, insurance card and owner’s manual. If you don’t find it there, the VIN most often can be found etched into the dash on the driver’s side of the vehicle. You can read the number by looking through the windshield.

The VIN may also appear in a number of other locations:

  • On the engine block. Pop the hood, and look at the front of the engine.
  • Front of the car frame, near the container that holds windshield washer fluid.
  • Rear wheel well, directly above the tire.
  • Inside the driver-side door jamb. Open the door and look near the top of the narrow panel where the door hinges.
  • Driver-side doorpost. Open the door and look on the narrow panel that appears on the outside when you open the door.
  • Underneath the spare tire.


*Source: NHTSA