Faulty Airbags, Recalls & Keeping Your Ride Safe

If it seems like there have been more recalls lately related to automotive repair than there usually is, you have been paying attention. From Ford to Toyota repair, recalls have been happening in record number in recent years and this concerning trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

A recent auto repair recall involving Takata Airbags affects more than 40 million vehicles in the U.S. and more than 18 domestic and foreign automakers. Vehicle owners affected by the recall should be receiving notifications in the mail letting them know of the recall and the auto repair required.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called the airbag recall one of the largest in the automotive industry’s history. The airbag manufacturer may have to pay as much as $1B in claims and fines to cover costs of the damage.


What Are the Issue with the Faulty Airbags?

Airbags are supposed to save lives or prevent major injury from occurring as a result of an automotive crash or collision. Yet these airbags installed in Toyota, Honda, Ford, GM, BMW and other vehicles from 2002 to 2015 have been causing harm up to and including death in some instances.

Mostly affecting the passenger-side seating area, the airbags explode with a slight impact causing serious injury to the passenger and even others in the vehicle. Automotive repairs have recently been issued for the recall but the process is taking longer than many drivers and their family members would like.

Because of the colossal size of the recall and the sheer number of vehicles involved, auto repair related to the recall is being performed in different phases. Those living in hot, humid climates seem to be most impacted by the faulty airbag explosion. As such, car owners who reside in these states are the first to receive notification of required auto repair.


What’s the Cost of Auto Repair Related to Defective Airbags?

The auto repair itself related to the airbag recall will be performed for no cost to the vehicle owner. Some auto manufacturers affected by the recall include: Acura, Lexus, Audi, Mazda, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Ferrari, Nissan, Ford/Lincoln, Subaru, General Motors, Honda, Toyota / Scion, Infiniti, Volkswagen, and Jaguar.


How Long Have These Car Repairs Been Happening?

The issue with the faulty airbags was first made known to the general public in November 2014 when the New York Times published a piece on airbag defects. Honda and Acura automakers followed by Ford were the first to comply with the NHTSA announcement of the recall. Others since had started following suit. Toyota and other auto makers expanded the year of vehicles affected by the recall.

In May 2015, the airbag manufacturer formally acknowledged the defective air bags and its commitment to produce auto repair kits to fix the issue. In November of that year, the NHTSA impose a penalty of $200 million against Takata, the largest such fine ever issued by the government agency. The Japanese company filed for bankruptcy earlier this year though this filing won’t impact those drivers who need to get their no-cost auto repair performed as a result of the defective air bags.


What Caused the Defect and Need For Auto Repair?

Though there is some debate on this issue, it has been determined that the problem of the exploding airbag was largely caused when the manufacturer decided to no longer use a specific, moisture-absorbing chemical. High levels of humidity or moisture in the atmosphere seem to make it more likely that the airbags will unintentionally explode.

In addition, the company is accused of manipulating testing and concealing data related to the performance of their airbags. The manufacturer on the other hand denies many of these claims, including the true cause of the deflator misfiring. To date auto repairs and replacements related to the debacle rank in the hundreds of thousands and counting.


Auto Repair Shops in San Diego Can’t Keep up with Replacement Demand

Unfortunately, many drivers impacted by the recall are struggling to get the needed repairs from other major recalls completed. This is because dealership’s auto repair shops are unable to obtain the replacement parts needed to complete the auto repair. This is particularly true for those who live in Zone A or the Gulf Region, including Florida, Georgia and Louisiana.

Takata and its competitors can’t produce the replacement parts fast enough. Due to the breach of trust caused by the faulty airbags and their subsequent recall, auto repair shops are opting for auto repair kits that are manufactured by Takata’s competitors if possible.

If you receive notification that your vehicle has been impacted by the Takata recall, take action as soon as you can to try to get the automotive repair you need. In the meantime, safety experts have advised vehicle owners to avoid having riders sit in the passenger seat if possible. Passenger-side airbags tend to be more impacted by the recall.


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