Air bags are an essential safety feature intended to decrease the damaging effects of collisions. But what happens when these components malfunction? Drivers in Georgia and all over the world are seeing firsthand the ramifications of faulty safety components due to ongoing Takata air bag recalls.
As reported by Car and Driver, Takata’s initial announcement of air bag defects only affected six makes of vehicles. Since then, the recall has expanded to include approximately 41 million vehicles worldwide, 34 million of which are thought to be in the U.S. An estimated 139 injuries have resulted from defective Takata air bags, including two deaths associated with Honda vehicles. While there are claims that the company was aware of these potential defects as early as 2004, no notifications were made to officials at that time.
Defective air bags have been known to eject metal components during crashes, which can have deadly consequences for drivers and passengers. Stated reasons for these defects range from increased humidity in certain areas to improper handling and storage of chemicals meant to propel air bags. However, Takata has recently admitted that there are no definitive causes, leading to even more vehicles being recalled.
Because all affected vehicles have not been identified, car owners that believe their make or model could be impacted by Takata recalls must take a proactive approach. Safecar.gov recommends that people should occasionally checking their vehicle identification number to determine if it is involved in the recall. In the event that a recall notice has been sent, they should contact the manufacturer immediately to learn the appropriate steps to take. New parts may not be immediately available; in this case manufacturers can provide car owners with precautions they can take until parts are supplied.