A huge recall for defective airbags is again in the news and I still do not understand why the U.S.government has not taken a strong stand against the manufacturer, Takata Corporation. I generally like the regulators to stay out of much of the automotive industry, but this is a case where only they can apply the appropriate pressure to remediate the problem. For starters, I suggest a five-year moratorium on sales of Takata airbags for vehicles to be sold in the North America.
Takata has told the NHTSA that the propellant that causes the bag to inflate is faulty and that the bag can rupture the container that holds it causing metal shrapnel to injure or kill the front seat occupants. I cannot impress upon you how critical it is to have the problem addressed NOW.
The list of affected vehicles is extensive:
Toyota: 2002 – 2003 – Lexus, Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Sequoia, Tundra
Honda: 2001 – 2006 – Accord, Civic, CR-V, Element, Odyssey, Pilot, Ridgeline, Acura MDX, Acura TL/CL
Nissan: 2001 – 2003 – Maxima, Pathfinder, Sentra, Infiniti I30, Infiniti QX4, Infiniti FX
Mazda: 2003 – 2004 – Mazda 6, RX8
BMW: 2000 – 2003 – 3 Series sedan, 3 Series coupe, 3 Series convertible, M3 coupe, M3 convertible
General Motors: 2002 – 2003 – Buick LeSabre, Buick Rendesvous, Cadillac DeVille, Chevy Trailblazer, Chevy Impala, Chevy Monte Carlo, Chevy Venture, GMC Envoy, GMC Envoy XL, Oldsmobile Aurora, Oldsmobile Bravada, Oldsmobile Silhouette, Pontiac Bonneville, Pontiac Montana Montana, Pontiac Matrix
Because most of these vehicles are in the hands of people who purchased them used, it is extremely difficult to contact the current owners. Word of mouth is the most effective way to get the information out so encourage family members and others that you know to verify whether their vehicle is on recall. If you own or manage a place of business, post a list of recalled vehicles. Dealers for each brand are aware of the recalls covering their vehicles.
This is not the time or place for bravado. There have already been at least two deaths in vehicles that are on this list, as well as many serious injuries.
You can go to nhtsa.gov if you have any questions.