Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) holds up an airbag and inflator during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on the Recalls of Defective Takata Air Bags and NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Efforts on Capitol Hill, June 23, 2015 in Washington, DC.
Source: Getty Images

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) holds up an airbag and inflator during a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing on the Recalls of Defective Takata Air Bags and NHTSA's Vehicle Safety Efforts on Capitol Hill, June 23, 2015 in Washington, DC.

U.S. Plans to Probe Over 30 Million Vehicles With Which Takata Airbags—Is Your Car One of Them?

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Sep. 21 2021, Published 4:16 p.m. ET

Takata has gone from being one of the biggest automotive part manufacturers in the world to being the most recalled manufacturer. With a recall history spanning over 20 years, Takata ceases to exist. However, the impact the manufacturer had on the automotive industry resulted in vehicles all around the U.S. and other parts of the world having to be inspected for faulty parts.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Tuesday that they have launched a probe on over 30 million vehicles, adding to the vehicles with Takata airbags that have already been investigated. Defective Takata airbags have so far injured more than 400 people, and killed at least 28 people around the world, which includes 19 in the U.S.

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What did Takata manufacture?

Takata was an automotive parts company that made seat belts, airbags, and more. The Japanese-founded company has been in the automotive industry for over 70 years. With an excessive history of recalls and being reportedly $15 billion in debt, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2017 in the U.S. and Japan. Takata would end up being acquired by Key Safety Systems, a Chinese company based in the US that manufactures automotive and non-automotive parts. Some of Takata's operations continued under Key Safety Systems.

Why are Takata airbags recalled?

The NHTSA says that when Takata airbags are exposed to high temperatures and humidity, they can explode when deployed. There have been explosions in vehicles where drivers were injured or died. Along with previous recalls, the airbags could shoot dangerous metal parts at the driver, or the airbag could also under-inflate and not protect the driver properly.

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There are at least 19 vehicle brands that have Takata airbags.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there have been 67 million Takata airbags recalled so far, the largest safety recall in automotive history. BMW, Chrysler, Ferrari, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Jaguar, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, and Volkswagen are some of the vehicle manufacturers that have vehicles with Takata airbags.

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Many if not all manufacturers will contact owners with vehicles that need inspection and possible part replacements. Even if you don’t get contacted by a representative, it may still be best to check if your vehicle needs an inspection. You can enter your Vehicle Identification Number into the NHTSA’s recall checker and search for your vehicle to see if it has been recalled. There’s also the opportunity to sign up for email alerts for future safety recalls on their website.

There are various models of vehicles that fall under the inspection category, ranging from years as early as 1996, to as late as 2018. Parts are getting continuously shipped to auto shops and auto dealers across the country, so manufacturers are moving as fast as they can to keep up with the demands. If your vehicle is being recalled, the NHTSA says it will be fixed for free if you receive a notification from your dealer that there are repair parts available.

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