Chances are you know someone affected by this deadly air bag recall


Michelle Stein

posted in Parenting

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced that 3.3 million more air bag inflators were added what is now the largest automotive recall in U.S. history. And chances are you or someone you know is affected.

So what’s the deal on these air bags, you ask? Air bags made by Japanese manufacturer Takata use ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion, which inflates air bags in a crash. However, the chemical can deteriorate after years of exposure to humidity and high temperatures — causing it to burn too quickly and blow apart a metal canister.

As you imagine, this turns what’s supposed to be a life-saving device into a metal shrapnel-exploding hazard. In fact, these faulty air bags have killed 20 people so far, reported CBS News.

Takata began issuing recalls in May 2016, and they will continue through December 2019, according to the NHTSA. And latest recalls brings the grand total of affected air bags somewhere between 65-70 million. (Yeah, so this is kind of a big deal.) NHTSA reports the recalls cover frontal air bags in certain 2009, 2010 and 2013 vehicles made by Honda, Toyota, Audi, BMW, Daimler Vans, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Tesla.

One easy way to see if your vehicle is part of the recall is by using the NHTSA’s recall lookup tool and typing in the VIN number. You can also visit the NHTSA website to sign up for updates and check on the list of affected vehicles. (Just FYI: As a result of this expanded Takata airbag recall, Toyota and Honda announced today a recall of 1 million additional vehicles for faulty airbags, according to Time.) If your vehicle is among those recalled, it’s important to get it fixed as soon as possible. Here’s the good news: The recall repair is free.

So far, it doesn’t look like my own vehicle is involved in this massive air bag recall. But I’m going to keep an eye out anyway. Because I learned from experience how crucial airbags can be when mine deployed during an accident. (See photo below.) My three young children — who were properly restrained in car/booster seats — and I all walked away unscathed after a crash.

So please, please, please check to make sure that your vehicle isn’t in this recall. Because exploding air bags aren’t something to take chances on.

Is your vehicle affected by this recall?

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Image by Michelle Stein, screenshot via YouTube/SaferCarTV

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