Takata Expands Largest Automotive Recall in U.S. History

Via: NPR, All Things Considered

Takata-airbag-largest-recallTakata recalled an additional 3.3 million airbags this month, expanding what is already the largest automotive recall in U.S. history. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says additional airbags are scheduled to be recalled through 2020.

The biggest auto recall in history is not over yet. In fact, it’s not even close to being done. We’re talking about the nationwide recall of Takata air bags. It began in 2014 after a handful of air bags exploded and sprayed shrapnel at drivers and passengers.

Fifteen people have been killed in the U.S. by these air bag explosions, and more than 180 have been injured worldwide.

Just this month, Takata has announced it’s recalling an additional 3.3 million air bags, which has many consumers wondering why more faulty air bags are out there.

What’s to Blame for These Recalls?

The answer is a little complicated. If you have an older air bag or an air bag that’s been in a region of the country with high humidity and significant changes in temperature, your car is much more likely to have an air bag explode, with shrapnel ripping through that airbag potentially killing or injuring people.

With this information in mind, Takata is prioritizing air bag recalls based on where you live.

The fundamental problem with these air bags is the inflator. There’s a chemical inside the air bags that goes through a small explosion in order to really rapidly expand that air bag so it can save your life in a crash. When the chemical is exposed to high humidity and significant temperature changes, it breaks down creating more surface area.

When you have more surface area and an explosive material, it explodes faster and more violently.

Obviously this is an important issue that needs immediate attention, but most car companies are not doing enough to reach out to consumers to get them to come in and get their vehicles repaired.

You can find out whether your car has been recalled by entering your VIN number on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s webpage.