Because the Takata airbag recall is being conducted in stages, manufacturers may still send notices at a future date. Due to this, all car owners have not been notified if their model is in the Takata airbag recall. You may receive a notice at a later date if your vehicle is in one of the lower priority groups.
Your vehicle’s make, model, and year will determine your priority group, as well as your geographic location. Too many vehicles are part of the recall to complete all of the repairs at once due to limited availability of replacement parts.
Check the Status of Your Airbag
You can visit the recall lookup page on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website to see if your vehicle is currently subject to recall.
How to Determine Your Priority Group
The ammonium nitrate used in Takata airbags can degrade over time. When degradation occurs, there is the potential for an explosion upon airbag deployment.
Excessive moisture can cause ammonium nitrate degradation, which is why vehicles registered in states with humid climates received higher priority in the Takata airbag recall. Geographic zones prioritize certain states that have the most heat and humidity.
Many of the Takata airbag explosions that have caused serious injuries or death happened in humid climates, such as the Southern United States. However, there have been incidents worldwide, and some airbags contain manufacturing defects that cause rupture regardless of climate, so drivers in colder climates could still be at risk.
The recall has been ongoing for several years, with each priority group receiving notices in the mail on a specified date. Unfortunately, some people never receive the recall notices and are unaware that their vehicle needs repairs.
The Imperfect Recall System
Even as the stories of Takata airbag explosions have received widespread media exposure, many people are unaware their vehicles contain these same Takata airbags. Some of the deaths from these incidents have involved vehicles that were subject to recall for several years before the crash.
You should receive recall notices in the mail, but if you have changed your address, you may never receive the notice.
This is why you should use the NHSTA recall lookup tool. You may want to check this tool periodically to get updated information.
If your vehicle is subject to recall, contact your dealership right away to get the repairs.
What to Do If You Receive a Recall Notice
If you receive a recall notice, you should schedule the repairs as soon as possible. Your dealership should make the repairs at no cost to you.
You may also be eligible to receive a free loaner vehicle for the duration of the repairs. Ask your dealership if they are providing this benefit to Takata airbag recall recipients.
If you cannot get the repairs right away, ask your car dealer if it is safe to drive in the meantime. Some vehicles have an increased risk of a Takata airbag defect and may be too dangerous to drive.
Priority Groups Set for January 2019 Recall
The next set of recall notices will begin in January 2019, but some of those vehicles will be in priority groups that don’t have to be replaced until months later and some automakers have petitioned to extend deadlines for certain priority groups, so the recalls are rolling out at different times. There are other priority groups that received “like for like” repairs in past years that will need another replacement as part of a future priority group.
If the recall lists your vehicle make, model, and year and you are part of a priority group that has not yet been recalled, you will not be able to get your repairs at this time. You will have to wait until your priority group’s recall date.
Contact your auto dealer to determine if it is safe to drive while you wait for your recall date. They may also advise you to avoid having passengers sit in the front seat until you get the recall repairs.
Get Help After a Takata Airbag Explosion
If your Takata airbag deploys—such as during a minor accident—there is a risk of a rupture that could cause severe injuries. Ruptured Takata airbag inflators have resulted in deaths, disfigurement, blindness, and other serious injuries.
Victims of a defective airbag deployment may have a right to seek compensation. You may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against a manufacturer who designed, used, or made the airbag that put you in danger.
Contact Newsome Melton at 888-808-5977 to discuss your potential legal remedies. You may have a limited time to file a legal complaint and pursue monetary compensation. Our attorneys represent injured consumers to help make products safer for everyone. If a defective product caused you or a loved one serious injury or death, call us to schedule a free consultation.
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