Few automotive recalls have received more public attention than the one involving Takata air bags. Since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered Takata to recall its faulty air bags in late 2014, millions of Americans have taken their vehicles to dealerships for critical repairs.
Regrettably, defective Takata air bags remain a deadly problem in the U.S. and likely around the globe. In fact, earlier this year, a faulty Takata air bag killed a South Carolina man.
The danger of defective Takata air bags
When they work properly, air bags save countless lives in motor vehicle accidents. Defective air bags, though, often have the opposite effect. With the recalled Takata air bags, inflators inside the deployment assembly tend to corrode and degrade over time. Eventually, these air bag inflators may explode. Because the inflators have metal casing and other metal parts, an inflator explosion may cause sharp shrapnel to enter passenger cabins at high rates of speed.
The problem with recalls
While automotive recalls should keep drivers, passengers and others safe, there is a glaring problem with them. Specifically, it is possible for vehicle owners and drivers not to know about the recall. This appears to be the case with the South Carolina air bag fatality, as the driver of the vehicle was not its owner.
The way to protect yourself
If your vehicle has a defective Takata air bag, you should have received a notice in the mail. If you have moved or did not receive the notice for some other reason, you can check the NHTSA’s recall database. Simply use your vehicle’s identification number to search for unaddressed recalls.
Continuing to drive a vehicle that has a faulty Takata air bag may put your life in grave danger. Ultimately, you should stop driving your car, truck or SUV until a technician has made necessary repairs.