The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wrote letters to 12 automakers who did not meet a deadline for replacing the cars and trucks with the most dangerous airbags. The NHTSA wants to meet with the automakers because millions of vehicles expected to be fixed by December 2017 still have the defective Takata airbags.
The 12 automakers who missed the repairs deadline are:
- BMW (792,000 of 2.06 million airbags repaired, as of April 17, 2018)
- Daimler Trucks North America (1,849 of 5,202 repaired)
- Daimler Vans (41,300 of 128,000 repaired)
- Fiat Chrysler (3.32 million of 8.55 million repaired)
- Ford (785,000 of 1.57 million repaired)
- General Motors (410,000 of 712,000 repaired)
- Honda (12.4 million of 16.4 million repaired)
- Mazda (536,000 of 1.07 million repaired)
- Mitsubishi (42,900 of 125,000 repaired)
- Nissan (534,000 of 1.27 million repaired)
- Subaru (650,000 of 1.05 million repaired)
- Toyota (2.81 million of 4.5 million repaired)
The NHTSA wants to know what plans the automakers have for making the remaining repairs. The agency directed the manufacturers to fix almost 20 million defective airbag inflators by the end of December of 2017, but more than a third of those are not complete. The 20 million airbags are the highest priority because they are the most likely to explode in a collision, even a minor fender-bender. The NHTSA has recalled a total of 50 million flawed Takata airbags in about 37 million vehicles.
High heat and humidity can cause a chemical in the defective airbags to explode, injuring and even killing drivers and passengers. Because of this, the NHTSA has created recall zones based on temperature and humidity and considers people in those states a high priority.
The agency maintains detailed recall information, with completion rates of repairs by automakers, on its website. The NHTSA urges consumers to check its Takata airbag recall tool at least twice a year to see if their car or truck needs a new airbag.