The largest vehicle recall ever continues to grow over a year after it first started. Takata is an airbag manufacturer who produces airbags for most of the major car companies. Numerous deaths all across the United States have been blamed for these airbags deploying incorrectly and causing serious injury. To-date, vehicles from around 20 different automakers have been recalled because of defective airbags on the passenger side, driver side or both.
The airbags have a defective inflator that sometimes explodes with enough force to send sharp pieces of metal from the airbag into the car leading to catastrophic or fatal injuries. The National Health and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigated and found that the problem is the result of ammonium nitrate without a drying agent. When this particular chemical deteriorates, especially in hot climates like here in Los Angeles, the airbags would explode with too much force, turning them from life-saving devices into essentially grenades.
The NHTSA has put out a tool that lets you look and see if your vehicle has been affected. It can be found at: https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls. NHTSA also recommends that you use the VIN Look-up Tool at least twice a year to see if your vehicle is under any safety recall. Please note that vehicles that have not yet been recalled, but are scheduled to be recalled in the future under NHTSA’s Consent Order with Takata, will not be searchable until they are actually recalled – and it recommends checking for recalls twice each year in order to be sure.