It’s difficult to identify exactly where the problem started, but some believe it goes way back to 2003. Today, the Takata airbag recall has become the most complex car safety recall in US history. According to Kelley Blue Book (KBB) the impact of the recall is massive. If your vehicle is affected, your life could be in danger.

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Staggering Numbers

The KBB report state that 32 million cars across 33 brands are affected. This means 1 in 8 cars have a defective Takata airbag. One thing puzzling analysts is that many people aren’t even aware or worried about the issue.

Real Danger

The problem isn’t that the airbags don’t work. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) some defective airbags have a 50% chance of exploding when deployed. This means when the airbag’s metal cartridge explodes, it’s like a hand grenade blowing up inside your car. This defect has been linked to 14 deaths and 100 injuries.  

New Safety Advisory

A wide range of foreign and domestic vehicles are affected by the recall. More recently, the NHTSA has recommended that owners of some Honda and Acura vehicles stop driving immediately due to the increased danger. This translates into over 300,000 vehicles including the 2001-2002 Honda Civic, 2001-2002 Honda Accord, 2002-2003 Acura TL, 2002 Honda CR-V, 2002 Honda Odyssey, 2003 Acura CL, and 2003 Honda Pilot.

The risk is even higher in regions of high humidity and high temperatures, such as Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, the Gulf Coast states, Hawaii, and island territories. However, it is important to understand that the risk is nationwide and should be taken seriously by all car owners.

Is My Vehicle Affected?

The complete list of vehicles affected by the Takata recall is expansive. Here are a few ways you can find out if your vehicle is at risk:

  • Check your car manufacturer’s website
  • Call any franchised dealer
  • Use the NHTSA’s VIN-lookup tool (your vehicle identification number, or VIN, can be found on your car registration and insurance cards)

What Should I Do If My Car Is Affected?

If your vehicle is on the recall list, arrange to have it serviced by an authorized technician right away. If your vehicle is a Honda or Acura listed above, you probably should have it towed to the shop to avoid risk.

Each Case Is Different

In some cars, the recall only involves the front passenger side. If this is the case, no one should sit there until repairs are made. If the driver’s side is involved, you probably should not drive the vehicle until it’s fixed.

Expect A Wait

Given the 34 million airbags that require replacement, it’s no wonder that replacement parts are taking time to arrive. You might have to wait weeks or months for a repair. The dealership may be able to disarm the airbag so you can drive your vehicle. But if you’re in a crash, you won’t have airbag protection. Some recommend that the vehicle not be driven at all until definitive repairs are made.

Recall are covered by the manufacturer. Other expensive repairs are paid for by an extended auto warranty. Get a free quote from CARCHEX now.

Published in Auto Warranty Articles by CARCHEX on July 19, 2016