Owners of vehicles equipped with defective Takata airbags are being urged to act on the recall as soon as possible. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the warning recently, alerting owners of cars originally sold in high-humidity areas including Hawaii, Florida, the Virgin Islands, Saipan, American Samoa, Guam, and Puerto Rico. NHTSA’s insistence that owners have recalled cars repaired signals how dangerous the safety agency finds this airbag defect.
The recalls began several years ago after Takata discovered that many front passenger-side airbags could rupture and spray shrapnel when deployed, increasing the risk of injury to occupants. Takata initially said the problem was caused by propellant being exposed to moisture and that humid weather could also be a contributing factor.
A large number of manufacturers have been affected, including Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, BMW, and General Motors. Honda, so far, accounts for a bulk of the recall with over 2.8 million vehicles affected, including model-year 2001-2007 Accord vehicles, 2002-2006 CR-V crossovers, and 2002-2004 Honda Odyssey minivans.
Toyota recently expanded its recall by 247,000 vehicles sold in the aforementioned high-humidity locations. Vehicles in that recall include model-year 2002-2005 Lexus SC and Toyota Sequoia, and 2003-2005 Tundra, Corolla, and Corolla Matrix (and the related Pontiac Vibe, which GM will handle) models. Toyota will start notifying owners of those cars on October 25, while GM’s timetable is still pending.
Toyota says it is currently investigating the relationship between the faulty airbag inflators and high humidity. The recall has affected around 778,000 Toyota vehicles, while the tally for BMW and Nissan stands at 573,935 units and 437,712 units, respectively. Meanwhile, the agency lists GM as having 133,221 vehicles with the faulty airbags, and Mazda at 18,050 vehicles. Globally, the defective airbags affect over 10 million vehicles.