The Takata airbag recall announcement that we’ve blogged about in the past has once again made headlines. This time due to the doubling of the number of vehicles included in the recall by Takata Corp. In total, 33.8 million vehicles have been listed in the Takata recall, making it the largest automotive recall in U.S. history. Thus far, six deaths have been linked to the airbag recall worldwide.
The Takata airbag recall is based on a defect that is said to shoot shrapnel into passengers when deployed. This shrapnel includes fragments made of metal and plastic, which can cause serious injuries and even death due to the speeds it would strike vehicle occupants. The affective airbags include both driver- and passenger-side airbags in automobiles manufactured by 11 automakers. Honda vehicles are said to be most likely to contain the defective airbags, but many other vehicle makes and models have been affected as well. To find out if your vehicle is included in the Takata airbag recall, check your VIN number against the NHTSA website dedicated to this recall.
If your vehicle is listed as being affected by the shrapnel defect, you should immediately contact a dealership to have the airbags replaced. Any automotive dealership that sells the brand of vehicle you drive should be able to provide assistance. Unfortunately, it may take a while to get your defective airbags replaced due to the high volume of vehicles involved in the recall. Older vehicles and those located in more humid states are being treated with higher priorities at this time due to evidence supporting that age and humidity contribute to the defects.
Separate vehicle recalls were announced recently that affect more than 1 million Ford Fusion, Fiesta and Lincoln MKZ vehicles. The largest of the three includes 546,000 2013-2014 Fusion and MKZ vehicles, as well as 2011-2014 model year Ford Fiesta autos. This recall is due to a latch malfunction that may allow the vehicles’ door to open unexpectedly. Ford Fiesta vehicles model years 2014 and 2015 are also included in a fuel pump recall which may lead to the vehicles stalling while being operated. This type of defect can be very dangerous to occupants, so it is important that drivers find out whether their vehicle is included in the recall.
Automobile recalls can be a hassle, but it is fortunate that the industry has been able to innovate safety features to such a degree that more defects are being discovered than ever before. While the numerous vehicle recalls in the works today may seem daunting, it is better for motor vehicle operators to be educated and aware of safety risks than be unable to prevent accidents from occurring. Jones & Swanson has represented many victims that were injured due to vehicle defects, so we are hopeful that automobile recalls will prevent many of these types of devastating accidents from occurring in the future.