The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is urging anyone who drives certain Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, BMW, General Motors, Ford, Mitsubishi, Chrysler and Subaru vehicles to see if your car has a defective airbag that needs to be replaced immediately. You can go to the website www.safercar.gov to look up your car’s VIN and see if it has been recalled. So far there have been 7.8 million recalls; however, it is estimated that up to 20 million vehicles are equipped with the faulty airbags. Even if you have not received a recall notice your car might be affected.
The vehicles being recalled are due to defective airbags that were manufactured by the Takata Corporation. The airbags, which reside in the steering wheel or dashboard of the car, have a pressurized canister in the middle of them. Under normal circumstances, the chemicals in this canister cause the airbag to inflate upon impact, thereby protecting the occupants from serious injury. In the defective products, the canister itself explodes, sending metal shrapnel into the occupants of the vehicle. So far there have been four reported deaths and multiple injuries.
You can visit the NHTSA website for the most recent list of affected vehicles. However, according to a Honda dealer in Macon, Georgia, giving your repair center the make & model of your vehicle isn’t going to be enough to determine if your car’s airbag(s) need to be replaced. They actually need your car’s VIN so that they can look up your specific car.