The Takata Airbag Recall Is a Growing Problem

December 16th, 2014 by

Good Driving HabitsNo automobile manufacturing company is immune to recalls, including Toyota. This is evident with the Takata airbag recall. Unfortunately, this particular recall is a growing problem that continues to affect millions of drivers all across the globe and many auto manufacturers, not just Toyota. If you listen to the news regularly, then you may already know why this particular recall is such a problem but here is a brief description of the defect just in case you’re not familiar with it.

The recall was issued because the air bags can explode with so much force that they send metal and plastic parts flying into the direction of the passengers. This creates a dangerous situation for the occupants of the vehicle. There have been over one hundred injuries associated with this defect and a few fatalities so far, which makes the Takata airbag a big problem for everyone.

What Causes the Takata Airbag Defect?

While it’s difficult to determine exactly what is causing the problem, here is what Takata has reported. They released information saying that years of exposure to high humidity can cause the bag propellant to burn faster than it should, which in turn creates excessive pressure within the inflator canister causing it to burst open. As a result, metal and plastic shards go flying through the air.

Why Is the Takata Airbag Recall a Growing Problem?

The Takata airbags were installed in vehicles built between the years 2002 and 2008. Not all airbags are defected, so it’s very difficult to determine which ones need replaced. In the beginning when the defect was first reported, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda and Honda recalled about seven thousand vehicles. However, that figure has jumped to over seven million vehicles now and the recall affects at least ten different manufacturers. The numbers continue to grow which makes it difficult to pinpoint exactly how many vehicles and brands will be affected before it’s all said and done.

Another problem is that it takes time to manufacture new airbags for all of these vehicles. In the meantime, anyone owning a vehicle with a defected airbag is at risk. Since high humidity plays a role in causing the defect, auto manufacturers are focusing their efforts on replacing the airbags in areas with hot and humid weather first. It could be a long time before this problem is completely resolved so before you buy a used Toyota, check to see if it was on the recall list and if so, find out if the airbag has been replaced.

What Should You Do about the Recall?

The Takata airbag defect is the largest recall in the history of auto manufacturing and as more information becomes available, more vehicles seem to be affected. The first thing you should do is find out if your vehicle is part of the recall. One way to do this is by visiting the Safercar.gov website and doing a search on your vehicle to see if any recalls have been issued for that particular make and model.

You may also receive a notification from the manufacturer telling you about the recall. However, considering how often vehicles change hands, this type of notification won’t reach every owner, so do your own research to find out for sure.

Since the actual problem is caused by a defect in the airbag itself, there wasn’t anything that Toyota or any of the other auto manufacturers could do to prevent it from happening but they are taking steps to correct the problem.

If you discover that your vehicle is affected by the recall, contact the manufacture to find out when and how to get your airbags replaced. Then, have your vehicle serviced as soon as possible. If there is a long waiting list for a replacement, avoid driving the vehicle as much as possible until you have the airbags replaced.

Posted in Toyota