The worldwide recall of Takata air bags is expanding by nearly four million automobiles, as the manufacturer states less than half of the potentially deadly devices in cars have been fixed. A list of affected models is included below, as well as online tools to determine if your automobile is affected.
Takata, the Japanese-based manufacturer of most of the air bags in automobiles on the road today, made two recall announcements in recent days, first announcing an additional 3.3 million air bag inflators would need to be replaced. Two days later, a second announcement added 600,000 more inflators to the recall.
Nearly 20 people have died when faulty inflators exploded when an air bag was deployed, sending shrapnel into unsuspecting drivers. Nearly 200 more have been injured by the shrapnel. The inflators use ammonium nitrate to inflate the bags, but the chemical can break down in high temperatures, causing them to explode when an air bag is deployed. Automobiles in areas of the country that experience high temperatures and humidity are getting priority in the recall.
The Takata air bag recalls first began in 2016, and are expected to continue through at least 2019. Approximately 69 million air bags in 42 million vehicles are affected by the recall.
To make the situation even more deadly, a recent audit found only 43% of all affected air bag inflators have been fixed, leaving millions of potentially deadly air bags still in vehicles.
The latest recalls cover frontal air bags in certain 2009, 2010 and 2013 vehicles made Honda, Toyota, Audi, BMW, Daimler Vans, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Tesla. Automakers will provide specific models in paperwork that will be filed later this month with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The second recall expanded the list:
The company says the (second) recall covers the Toyota Corolla and Matrix, Scion xB, Lexus IS250 and 350, and the Lexus IS-F from 2009, 2010 and 2013. Also covered are the 2010 and 2013 Toyota 4-Runner, Lexus IS250C and 350C and Lexus GX460, as well as the 2009 and 2010 Toyota Yaris and Lexus ES350, and the 2013 Toyota Sienna.
The recalls, which are being managed by NHTSA, are being phased in over the next three years. Older models and those in states with high humidity and temperatures are getting priority.
The NHTSA maintains a list of vehicles affected and guidance on steps to take if a car is affected. To find out if a vehicle is on the recall list for defective Takata air bags, visit the NHTSA website. All defective Takata air bags are under recall and will be replaced for free.
How to Know If Your Vehicle Is Affected
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has an online lookup tool to assist car owners. Drivers can enter a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and determine if any safety or recall issues affect their vehicle. This applies not only to the Takata Air Bag recall, but to any recall issued by the manufacturer.