Not only should we use caution when behind the wheel but, now potentially dangerous air bags have put our safety at even greater risk. It’s been all over the news lately that defective air bags can injure you in the event of an accident. The problem has reached a serious stage, as 7.8 million vehicles have apparently been affected. While the chances of the recall contributing to higher auto insurance rates are low, the chances of suffering an injury from the deployment of a defective air bag are significantly increased.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has gone so far as to put out an urgent safety warning advising owners of certain Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors vehicles to act immediately on recall notices they may have received to replace defective air bags. According to some reports, inflator mechanisms in these air bags can rupture, causing metal fragments to fly out when the bags are deployed in a crash.
The recalls began 18 months ago, but in some instances, dealerships have not had the necessary parts available to address the problem as quickly as needed. And, there has been some confusion because the recalls initially appeared to be widespread. However, thus far, the emphasis for immediate action has mostly been directed to areas with consistently high humidity and temperatures.
That’s why the major bulk of the recalls at the moment are mainly regional for: Florida, Puerto Rico, limited areas near the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana, as well as Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii. But, that being said…according to the NHTSA, the investigation is not limited to just those areas as they continue to track down the full geographic scope of the problem.
The common factor appears to be the consistent exposure to these types of weather conditions, and the Takata Corporation, the manufacturer of the defective parts at the forefront of the recall. The Japanese company is a leading global supplier of automotive safety equipment, including seat belts, air bags, and child seats.
If you have concerns whether your vehicle is part of the Takata recalls, especially if you recently purchased a vehicle from the affected areas, you can contact your car manufacturer’s website to search by your vehicle identification number (VIN) to confirm if your vehicle has an open recall that needs to be addressed.
Also, owners who have been contacted by their manufacturer should contact their dealer’s service department and make arrangements for the repair as soon as possible. Furthermore, you can contact the NHTSA’s Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236…or their website: www.nhtsa.gov for a complete list of vehicles.
Don’t leave your safety to chance…or, for that matter, make sure you’re getting the best rate on your auto insurance. Why not get a free auto insurance quote today?
Do you own one of the recalled vehicles? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.