This week, safety regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a warning to owners of over 7.8 million vehicles containing Takata airbags with defective inflators. These inflators cause the airbags to explode, and in several cases, send metal fragments into the passenger cabin. NHTSA investigators have theorized that a chemical responsible for proper airbag deployment may cause system malfunctions where humidity and temperature are high, including Texas and other areas bordering the Gulf of Mexico. A complete list of recalled vehicles can be found here and includes manufacturers BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Mazda, Toyota, and Honda. You can also look up your vehicle by VIN number using the manufacturers’ VIN recall lookup sites, listed here.
Although recall notices are being distributed, these letters do not always reach a recalled vehicle’s current owner. Vehicles obtained through secondhand channels are often unaccounted for when recall notifications are mailed out, so it is paramount that car owners research their vehicle on safercar.gov. Unfortunately, Takata has also recommended that automakers conduct recalls only in areas with high “absolute” humidity, such as Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, while completely excluding other states with high heat and humidity, like Texas. If you have a vehicle that is affected, bring it to your local dealership to request a repair or replacement of the defective airbag system. This is especially critical in a high-humidity area like ours.
If you have been injured by a defective airbag, the experienced defective product lawyers at Sloan, Bagley, Hatcher & Perry Law Firm know and understand your rights. Call us at 800-730-0099 for a free, personal consultation.