NHTSA Adds 40 Million More Vehicles to Takata Airbag Recall

Posted on May 11, 2016

Defects in Takata airbags, installed in millions of cars, related to moisture in the inflator mechanism have resulted in at least ten deaths and more than 100 injuries in the U.S. alone. Areas with humid climates and high temperatures have seen the most accidents with sudden airbag deployment and shrapnel entering the cabin. To date, the Takata airbag recall has affected 28 million vehicles, and a new recall series is about to take effect. 

A History of the Takata Airbag Recalls 

The Takata airbag recalls started back in November 2008 with a recall of 2.5 million Honda and Acura vehicles between 2009 and 2011. Since the initial recalls, the addition of more auto manufacturers and vehicle models has been an ongoing process. In May 2015, the largest recall to date took place, including 22 million vehicles. 

The most recent recall on May 4, 2016, brings to light new scientific data implicating an estimated 38 million more affected vehicles. 

Takata Planning a Phased Roll-Out of Recalls Over 3.5 Years 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is overseeing the airbag recall campaign. In cooperation with Takata and national auto manufacturers, the administration will be organizing five expansions of the current recall program. The NHTSA will recall the 38 million airbag inflators affected based on the level of risk that they will malfunction. 

Risk factors for malfunction include the age of the vehicle, the humidity levels in the area where it is in use, and the fluctuation of high temperatures. These factors may cause an acceleration of the degradation of the ammonium nitrate propellant. 

This recall is the result of aggressive efforts to identify the defective parts and execute safety testing on all other Takata airbag products. Due to the aggressive efforts and the massive May 2015 recall, the NHTSA has already recalled the most dangerous inflators. This new recall covers other airbag inflator systems that may not be as hazardous yet but have the potential to become so over time. 

What Takata Airbag Recalls Mean to Consumers 

Between May 2016 and December 2019, five waves of recalls will occur, each addressing millions of vehicles. It is important to watch your vehicle manufacturer's recall website for the latest makes and model years under recall. You can also keep track of all current vehicle recalls at Safercar.gov's Recall Lookup Tool. 

When you get a recall notice, you should immediately take your vehicle in for repairs. Additionally, if you bring your vehicle to a dealership for service, it is a good idea to ask the service manager to look up your vehicle for any other current recalls. 

Defective airbags are just one type of vehicle defect that can cause serious injuries. If you or a loved one were injured by a defective vehicle you have the right to speak with a car accident attorney and file a claim for damages against the vehicle manufacturer. 

Contact Max Meyers Law to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your right to recovery: 425-399-7000.

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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.