Takata airbag recall: What you need to know to protect yourself

The safety of vehicles is a paramount concern for all car owners and potential buyers. Unfortunately, there have been several recalls in recent years related to faulty airbags, with the Takata airbag recall being one of the most significant.

In this blog article, we will discuss the latest Takata airbag recall, its potential risks, and provide valuable advice to customers on how to ensure their cars are not affected. Additionally, we will emphasize the importance of pre-purchase car inspections to safeguard against any potential issues.

  1. Understanding the Takata Airbag Recall

    The Takata airbag recall is one of the largest and most complex recalls in automotive history. It involves defective airbags manufactured by Takata Corporation, a Japanese automotive parts company. The problem lies in the airbag’s inflator, which can rupture upon deployment, sending metal fragments flying inside the vehicle. This defect has been linked to numerous injuries and fatalities worldwide.

  2. Vehicles Affected by the Recall

    The Takata airbag recall has affected a wide range of car makes and models. The issue primarily involves older vehicles, especially those manufactured between 2002 and 2015. However, it’s important to note that not all vehicles produced during this period are affected, as the recall varies based on the specific airbag inflator model installed.

  3. Identifying Potentially Affected Vehicles

    To determine if a car is subject to the Takata airbag recall, customers can check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website or use their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to search for recalls on the manufacturer’s website. The VIN can be found on the driver’s side door jamb or the dashboard near the windshield.

  4. Risks Associated with Defective Airbags

    The main risk associated with defective Takata airbags is the potential for serious injuries or fatalities. The rupturing inflator can cause shrapnel to be propelled into the vehicle’s cabin during airbag deployment, leading to severe injuries or even death. The risks are particularly high in areas with high humidity, as the propellant degradation process is accelerated in such conditions.

  5. Ensuring Your Car is Not Affected

    If you are purchasing a used car, it is crucial to conduct a pre-purchase car inspection to minimize the risk of buying a vehicle with a defective airbag. Here are some steps to follow:

    1. Research the Vehicle’s History: Obtain a vehicle history report to check for any previous recalls or accidents involving airbags.
    2. Consult the Manufacturer: Contact the vehicle manufacturer or visit their website to determine if the car is included in the Takata airbag recall.
    3. Hire a Professional Inspector: Engage a trusted mechanic or professional car inspector to conduct a thorough examination of the vehicle. Ensure they inspect the airbag system, including the inflator module, for any signs of the Takata airbag defect.
    4. Seek a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle: Consider purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle from a reputable dealership, as they usually undergo rigorous inspections to meet certain quality standards.
  6. Taking Action if Your Car is Affected

    If your vehicle is included in the Takata airbag recall, take immediate action to rectify the issue. Contact the vehicle manufacturer or authorized dealer to schedule a repair appointment. The repair usually involves replacing the faulty airbag inflator free of charge.

  7. Additional Safety Measures

    While the Takata airbag recall has been a significant concern, there are other general safety measures you can adopt to ensure your overall vehicle safety:
    Regular Maintenance: Maintain your vehicle according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This includes periodic inspections, servicing, and addressing any recalls promptly.
    Register Your Vehicle: Register your car with the manufacturer to receive timely notifications about any future recalls.
    Stay Informed: Stay updated with the latest automotive news and safety alerts to ensure you are aware of any potential issues or recalls.

The Takata airbag recall has raised important safety concerns for car owners and buyers. By understanding the risks associated with defective airbags and taking proactive measures, customers can ensure their vehicles are not affected.

Conducting pre-purchase car inspections and staying informed about recalls are vital steps in guaranteeing the safety of your vehicle and the well-being of yourself and your passengers.

Remember, your safety is a top priority, and taking preventive actions is the best way to drive with peace of mind.

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About the Author

Daniel is the founder of Double Chex Vehicle Inspections and proudly holds a Motor Vehicle Repairers licence, memberships with NSW Fair Trading and associated statutory bodies as required to complete independent vehicle inspections that are accepted across various industries nationwide.