“The largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history," is the nickname given to the recent Takata airbag recall that has caused 14 deaths and over 100 injuries as of August 26, 2016. Most major vehicle companies have put out recalls trying to prevent 64 million defective airbags from taking more lives.
Takata airbags have been found to have a high risk of exploding and sending metal fragments into the vehicle. This is caused by ammonium nitrate, the substance used to inflate the bag when the vehicle is in a wreck, breaking down due to moisture or temperature. Not all vehicles with Takata airbags are being recalled, just the ones without a chemical drying agent to prevent the problem. To check if your vehicle has been recalled, click here. The recall is very confusing though, as there have been multiple new findings of unsafe airbags in vehicles. The best way to tell if your vehicle is included in the recall according to manufacturers is to keep updated and search by your vehicle’s VIN number, a 17 character code unique to each vehicle that can be found on your title and registration, under your hood, in the driver's side door jamb, or on the driver’s side of the dashboard. Click here if you want to search by VIN.
The most at risk vehicles are: 2001-2 Honda Civic, 2001-2 Honda Accord, 2002-3 Acura TL, 2002 Honda CR-V, 2002 Honda Odyssey, 2003 Acura CL, and 2003 Honda Pilot. If you own one of these vehicles, regulators are urging you not to drive it until the problem is fixed.
We expect airbags to keep us safe, but in this instance, the airbags are the things hurting us. The risk of these airbag malfunctions is higher if the airbag deploys, so drive safe.