On Oct. 20, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued an urgent advisory to the owners of some 7.8 million cars throughout the United States about a massive recall for defective airbags.
The recall affects cars from 10 manufacturers that used Takata airbags in various vehicles spanning model years 2000 to 2011. It impacts some of the most popular used vehicles on the market, including Dodge Ram trucks, Ford Mustangs, Subaru Outbacks and Legacies, Toyota Corollas and Nissan Maximas, Pathfinders and Sentras. Honda was the manufacturer most affected with more than 5 million recalled vehicles, including Accords, Civics, CR-Vs, Elements and Odysseys.
NHTSA said the problem seems to be related to consistent exposure to heat and humidity, making vehicles in the South more susceptible to the airbag failures. But the agency also said its investigation is ongoing, which means other factors could be involved – and that there could be even more recalls in the near future.
In the advisory, NHTSA deputy administrator David Friedman said getting the recalled vehicles repaired quickly “is essential to personal safety.”
NHTSA recently unveiled a VIN lookup tool, available for free at www.safercar.gov/vinlookup. The search tool will provide the details of any open recall, including instructions for getting the vehicle repaired by the manufacturer at no charge.