Same Part, New Issue: Deadly Airbag Defect Prompts 1.4M More Recalls

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Takata has issued a fresh recall of approximately 1.4 million vehicles due to faulty airbags. This latest round of Takata airbag recalls brings the total to around 41.6 million vehicles under 32 brands. The ruptured airbags have been linked to nearly 30 deaths and hundreds of injuries.  

The NHTSA says that Takata is recalling certain Non-Azide Driver airbag inflators used in model-year 1995 – 2000 vehicles. The faulty airbag inflators do not contain phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate propellant and can absorb moisture, causing the inflator to rupture or the airbag cushion to underinflate. 

Ruptured airbags can explode, causing metal shrapnel to be thrown the cabin resulting in serious harm or death to cabin occupants. Underinflated airbags cannot protect drivers or passengers in the result of a crash. 

Takata says that they are working with automakers to identify vehicles that received the bad inflators as either original equipment or as replacement parts. Specific recalls will be announced by automakers, who will alert owners to bring their vehicle in to make necessary repairs. 

The NHTSA added that potentially defective inflators were installed in certain Toyota, BMW, Audi, Honda and Mitsubishi models. 

BMW is warning owners of model-year 1999 – 2001 3-Series models to park their vehicles until the repairs are made, while Audi said it is investigating whether any model-year 1997 – 1999 A4, A6, A8, or TT vehicles are affected.

A spokesman for Honda said in a recent statement that the manufacturer is currently analyzing data involving airbag inflators for model-year 1996 – 2000 Acura and Honda vehicles. 

If you believe your vehicle has an open recall, you may check NHTSA’s website. When directed, plug in your vehicle’s 17-digit vehicle identification number into the NHTSA website. If your number does not appear, your vehicle does not have any open recalls.