Does my car have a recalled Takata airbag?
The Takata airbag recall is now considered the biggest automotive recall in United States history. Over 28 million Takata airbag inflators have been recalled and the recall is still far from over. The airbags pose a hazard because they degrade over time, leading to rupture and potentially creating flying metal shrapnel. Thus far, ten people have died as a result of ruptured Takata airbags and more than 100 have been injured.
The problem with Takata’s airbags is that the chemical mixture (ammonium nitrate) used to inflate the airbags grows unstable over time and when exposed to moisture. To combat the problem, Takata has added a desiccant or moisture absorber. Now, however, the federal government has called on Takata to stop making airbags with ammonium nitrate altogether by the end of 2018. It is not clear whether the desiccated inflators will be recalled in the years to come.
Despite the issues surrounding both desiccated and non-desiccated inflators, some automakers have continued to produce new vehicles using both types of inflators. Consumers should carefully research which cars may contain the volatile inflators before making any vehicle purchases.
Automakers Producing Cars with Non-Desiccated or Volatile Takata Inflators
These automakers are releasing certain vehicles and models with the volatile, non-desiccated Takata airbags, though some are phasing out use of the product.
- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
- Volkswagen Group
Automakers That Are Not Using Takata’s Volatile Inflators in New Vehicles
These automakers have publically stated that none of their new cars will use Takata’s more volatile inflators:
- Jaguar Land Rover
Several other automakers have not provided a clear answer on the issue, while still others are using Takata’s new desiccated inflators.
Check Your Vehicle for Recalls
All drivers are encouraged to check periodically whether their vehicle is involved in any active recalls. You can visit your vehicle manufacturer’s website and input your VIN or go to safercar.gov and follow the instructions. Any vehicle that contains a recalled Takata airbag should promptly be repaired to reduce the serious risk of injury that accompanies these auto parts.