Takata Airbag Recall Leaves Millions Of Drivers At Risk

Car owners are being encouraged to check the airbags in their vehicles for their own safety.  Over 7.8 million cars are being recalled by manufacturers after it was discovered that Takata airbags could explode in the event of a collision.

The recall was ordered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after the airbags were linked to four collision related deaths.  Over 50 car models are cited in the recall, with models manufactured between 2000 and 2011 included in the announcement.

According to Takata, one of the chemicals used in the airbags is ammonium nitrate that ignites in a crash, inflating the airbag to protect the driver.  But the chemical is very susceptible to heat and humidity, which can cause the chemical to ignite with extra force, causing materials within the airbags to fly into the drivers – and potentially others sitting in the front passenger seat.

The NHTSA is most concerned about drivers in southern states where climates are traditionally hotter and more humid.  Anyone with a vehicle model identified in the recall is encouraged to get to a dealership to check out their airbags, as well as contact their insurance for any other advice.

GM issued a similar recall earlier this year on cars with defective ignition switches, which could potentially shut down the engine and deactivate the airbags.  At that time many public officials, such as Senator Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut were demanding that laws be rewritten to help the public acquire more information about accidents that cause fatalities.

After the latest incident with the Takata airbag recall, Blumenthal went on ABC to demand that legal settlements between car manufacturers and injured drivers should become public.

“If the public were aware of the lawsuits that are brought, if they were settled in open view, available to the public, there would be much quicker and more vigorous action to end the defects that lead to these horrendous crashes and exploding airbags.”