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Could Your Car's Takata Airbag Kill You?

Could the airbag in the automobile you drive, that is supposed to protect you in the event of an accident, seriously harm or even kill you instead?

For millions of drivers in the U.S., the unfortunate answer is yes. And many of these people are still unaware of the danger.

Millions of Takata airbags, in dozens of car models and brands, have a defect that could cause them to explode when deployed, sending metal shrapnel into the driver and passengers. Current airbag recalls in the U.S could eventually include as many as 42 million vehicles with the potentially lethal Takata airbags, but the word has not gotten out to everyone about the danger. So far, only 12.5 million of these faulty airbags have been replaced, and that leaves millions of people at risk. 1

11 people have already died from injuries resulting from these defective airbags, and more than a hundred have been injured. Worse yet, it seems Takata knew about the defect and hid that fact for years to protect profits. In fact, the U.S. Justice Department indicted three former executives of Takata, an automotive parts maker, on fraud and other charges. According to the indictment, former Takata executives and others continued selling the airbags while providing falsified test data to automakers, despite being aware since around 2000 of the air bags' potential for rupturing. 2 In January 2017, Takata "agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud and agreed to pay a total of $1 billion in criminal penalties stemming from the company's fraudulent conduct in relation to sales of defective airbag inflators." 3

So why isn't more being done to warn drivers of the dangers? Millions of people are still unknowingly driving cars with dangerously defective airbags. Drivers of older Honda and Acura cars manufactured between 2001 - 2003 are particularly vulnerable, so much so that the government is urging people not to drive these cars until they are repaired. 1 People either are not getting notices of the airbag recall; are not being told how serious the airbag defect is or have a car that has not made the recall list yet. Car dealers and manufacturers need to make sure that everyone is aware of the dangers and get as many of these airbags recalled and replaced as quickly as possible. This is too important and dangerous to ignore.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the following is a list of cars that currently are or will be, at some point in the future, affected by the airbag recall:

Acura, Audi, BMW. Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks and Vans, Dodge/Ram, Ferrari, Fisker, Ford, GMC, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Mercury, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Scion, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota and Volkswagen. 4

We urge you to go to safercar.gov's recall page at https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/ and type in your car's vehicle identification number to see if your airbag needs to be replaced. If you do not see a recall listed for your automobile, check back periodically as new makes and models are being added to the recalls. The life or health of a family member could be at stake.

1 https://www.boston.com/cars/cars/2017/01/13/7-questions-about-the-takata-air-bag-recall-answered

2 https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/takata-corporation-agrees-plead-guilty-and-pay-1-billion-criminal-penalties-airbag-scheme

3 https://www.safercar.gov/rs/takata/takatalist.html

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