In our previous blog we discussed potentially faulty airbags not deploying in a collision.  In this blog we discuss the opposite problem – Takata airbags deploying and injuring and killing people when the airbag should not have deployed.

Takata is the manufacturer of millions of airbags for multiple car manufacturers in the world. There are approximately 22 million passenger vehicles on the road in Canada and as of January, 2017 4.3 million of those have been recalled for faulty Takata airbags. This is one fifth of all Canadian vehicles! This is a major recall and should be a major concern for you. Takata airbags inflate with too much force, rupturing the bag and/or sending fragments of metal and plastic at high speeds into the occupants.  Fortunately, to date no complaints have been made by Canadians to Transport Canada complaining of an airbag improperly going off.

In the U.S. the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is an agency of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, part of the Department of Transportation. It describes its mission as “Save lives, prevent injuries, reduce vehicle-related crashes.”  The NHTSA says the Takat airbag recall, “is the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history”.   In the U.S. there have been 11 deaths and approximately 180 injuries due to this problem in the U.S.  Through various announcements, the recall has tripled in size over the past year. It is expected that the inflator recall will impact 42 million vehicles in the U.S., with the total number of airbags being between 64 and 69 million.

This is one time when it is advantageous to be from a cold dry climate like Canada as the faulty manufacturing of the Takata airbags is due to the airbag propellant degrading from high temperatures and humidity. Thus, people in Florida are having a particular problem with this but in Canada we have been largely spared. Nevertheless, you should see check the list below to see if your vehicle is affected. You may also contact your manufacturer through their website or Service Department using your VIN number for your vehicle.

Affected Models may include:

Acura: 2002–2003 CL and TL; 2003–2006 MDX; 2005 RL;

BMW: 2000–2005 3-series sedan and wagon; 2000–2006 3-series coupe and convertible; 2001–2006 M3 coupe and convertible;

Chrysler: 2005–2008 Chrysler 300; 2007–2008 Aspen;

Dodge/Ram: 2003–2008 Dodge Ram 1500; 2005–2008 Ram 2500, Dakota, and Durango; 2006–2008 Ram 3500 and 4500; 2008 Ram 5500;

Ford: 2004 Ranger; 2005–2006 GT; 2005–2007 Mustang;

Honda: 2001–2007 Accord; 2001–2005 Civic; 2002–2006 CR-V; 2002–2004 Odyssey; 2003–2011 Element; 2003–2007 Pilot; 2006 Ridgeline;

Infiniti: 2001–2004 Infiniti I30/I35; 2002–2003 Infiniti QX4; 2003–2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45; 2006 Infiniti M35/M45;

Lexus: 2002–2005 SC430;

Mazda: 2003–2007 Mazda 6; 2006–2007 Mazdaspeed 6; 2004–2008 Mazda RX-8; 2004–2005 MPV; 2004 B-series;

Mitsubishi: 2004–2005 Lancer; 2006–2007 Raider;

Nissan: 2001–2003 Maxima; 2001–2004 Pathfinder; 2002–2006 Nissan Sentra;

Pontiac: 2003–2005 Vibe; Saab: 2005 9-2X;

Subaru: 2003–2005 Baja, Legacy, Outback; 2004–2005 Impreza, Impreza WRX, Impreza WRX STI;

Toyota: 2002–2005 Toyota Corolla and Sequoia; 2003–2005 Matrix, Tundra.

As well, you should be aware that new U.S. research shows that certain Takata airbags recalled back in 2008 and 2010 may be at higher risk of failure. This applies to Honda and Acura vehicles made between 2001 to 2003.  Some law firms in Canada have started Class Action lawsuits against vehicle manufacturers and Takata.  The summer of 2017 could well see some faulty airbags injuring Canadians, or worse, killing innocent Canadians.  Do not wait for the humid summer months of 2017  – get your airbag fixed now.