Despite several separate recalls of defective Takata airbags from 2014 through 2020, problems with the manufacturer’s airbag components continue to pose a serious safety hazard. Most recently, a May 2021 recall of more than 4,500 vehicles followed the 19th airbag defect fatality in the U.S. in April, when a defective airbag inflator killed the driver of a 2002 Honda Accord.
Review the extent of this issue and determine whether your vehicle may have a dangerous defective airbag.
The scope of the problem
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration reports that the U.S. recall affects 67 million airbags from more than 42 million vehicles 19 different manufacturers, primarily installed in 2002 through 2015 vehicle models. The defective inflator can ignite and explode, causing serious injury or death to vehicle occupants. The age of the vehicle and exposure to excessive heat and moisture increases the risk of such an incident.
Safety steps for drivers
The NHTSA has prioritized recalls in waves based on risk. According to the agency, drivers should seek immediate airbag repairs for these vehicles:
- Acura and Honda models made from 2001 to 2003
- 2006 Mazda B-Series pickup trucks
- 2006 Ford Ranger pickup trucks
- 1999 BMW 328i and 323i
Other models in the most recent recall include 2007 to 2009 Mazda B-Series trucks, 2007 to 2011 Ford Ranger pickup trucks, and 2007 to 2010 Lincoln MKZ and Ford Edge models.
The federal government has released a tool you can use to check your vehicle make, model and year for recalls. For more information, access this resource at safercar.gov.