The ongoing saga involving defective “Takata” airbags has now reached epic proportions as the scope of the recall has been expanded to include 17 million vehicles in the U.S. and more than 36 million worldwide. The announcement of the expanded recall was made on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, after which National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTSA) Administrator Mark Rosekind remarked that “This is probably the most complex consumer safety recall in U.S. history.”
The latest announcement is said to double the extent of the massive recalls made by BMW, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota in 2014, and has sparked widespread confusion about what specific vehicles are impacted and how and when repairs will be made available to affected owners. While the fact that a massive number of additional vehicles are being recalled has been made known, consumers are currently left not knowing if their vehicle has one of the defective airbags because the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) of the specific vehicles involved are not yet available. Without the VIN, consumers cannot find out whether their car is part of the new recall. So, what are consumers to do? Here is the advice given by Jack Gillis of the Consumer Federation of America author of The Car Book, published with the Center for Auto Safety:
- Look for your vehicle’s identification number (VIN). It can be found by looking at your dashboard from the outside of the driver’s side or on the outer edge of the driver’s door. It should also be listed on your vehicle registration certificate.
- Go to www.safercar.gov/vin and type in your VIN. In addition a complete list of Takata recalls to date has been posted on the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety’s website.
- Contact ANY dealer of your vehicle immediately to schedule a replacement appointment if your vehicle is part of the recall. The sooner you make contact, the sooner you’ll get on the dealers list for repairs.
- Ask for a ‘loaner vehicle’ while you await repairs to your vehicle.
- If your vehicle is not currently listed, it could still be added to the list at a later date, so check back on a regular basis.
The latest news has reignited allegations that Takata has been hiding knowledge of the exploding airbag problem for years. Heintz & Becker wants to be part of the solution to this problem and work to hold manufacturers responsible. First and foremost, we urge you to seek any and all necessary repairs to ensure that your vehicle is safe to operate.
Second, if you or a member of your family is a victim of a defective Takata airbag, faulty GM ignition switch, or other vehicle defect we urge you to reach out to one of our attorneys and tell us your story. You may be entitled to receive compensation and telling your story may result others being spared the same suffering experienced by you and your family.
Source(s): ABC News, “US Listing of Cars Affected by Takata Airbag Recall Not Updated Yet”, posted May 20, 2015; Autoblog, “Takata changed airbag design in 2008”, posted May 21, 2015; Consumer Affairs, “The Takata airbag recall: What should you do?”, posted May 21, 2015