Takata Airbag Recall Now Largest Auto Recall In US History

Over the last number of years, millions of vehicles have been recalled by auto manufacturers for safety concerns.  The defects vary depending on the company – from door latches on Ford made vehicles to durability in GM models.  In the end, the issue for US safety regulators is the safety of Americans who are in those vehicles.

One of the largest recalls in 2014 revolved around the Takata airbag scandal.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered the recall last fall after Takata discovered that chemicals used to trigger the airbags in a crash are prone to ignite upon serious impact.

At the time, NHTSA officials quoted that up to 8 million vehicles across the country were recalled due to the defective airbags.  But after facing pressure from regulators, Takata was forced to declare that nearly 34 million airbags are now defective, triggering what is being called the largest automotive recall in US history.

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind described the recall as one of the most complex issues facing the automotive industry.

“The number of impacted vehicles and manufacturers in combination with the supply issues related to these air bag recalls adds a previously unprecedented level of complexity to this recall.”

The NHTSA wants to expedite the recall process as quickly as possible, but predicts that manufacturing replacement parts could take over two and a half years.  Takata is increasing its production but regulators want to expand manufacturing to other companies.  One of the issues, according to the NHTSA, is that many of the airbags previously replaced by Takata were declared defective in this week’s recall.

Regulators encourage any drivers with vehicle identification numbers cited in the recall to visit a body shop for repairs as soon as possible.  Drivers should also speak with their auto insurance providers for advice about compensation for the repairs, and any other questions to ask mechanics who perform the maintenance.

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