More than 12 million vehicles have been recalled around the world due to a dangerous defect in air bags, and the problem could affect 20 to 25 million cars in the United States alone.
The United States government recently issued a warning to more than 4.7 million people, urging them to get the air bags in their vehicles fixed. Officials are concerned that a defect in the air bag inflator mechanisms can possibly kill or seriously injure drivers or passengers. The inflator mechanisms may rupture, causing metal fragments to fly out when the air bags are deployed during an auto accident. At least four people are reported to have died from the problem caused by the air bag defect, and there have been multiple injuries.
Multiple automakers, including Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, General Motors, Ford, and BMW have recalled vehicles in the last two years to repair air bag inflators produced by Takata Corporation. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) has warned owners of these vehicles to act right away; safety advocates report the problem could affect more than 20 million vehicles in the United States. Since June, the NHTSA has reported six air bag inflators rupturing, causing injuries to three people.
On Monday, Toyota issued a passenger air bag recall for 247,000 older model vehicles, including the Lexus SC, Matrix, Tundra, Sequoia, and Corolla. Toyota is working with Takata Corp. to figure out why the inflators are rupturing, and to gauge the impact of high humidity on the air bag inflator mechanisms. Takata supports Toyota’s recall decision and will continue to support the NHTSA and customers by providing replacement parts and technical analysis.
NHTSA urges people to check for recalls by going to https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/ and typing in their vehicle identification number (VIN).