The largest auto recall in history, now affecting 50 million Takata airbags, has left owners scrambling for answers amidst concerns of delayed replacements.
As of March 2018, more than 50 percent of faulty inflators need replacement, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That equals 16.4 million vehicles.
For perspective, 49 percent of affected 2006 Ford Rangers and 55 percent of 2022 Mazda B-series trucks have not had airbags replaced, both now owning a "do not drive warning" by the NHTSA.
In all, more than 100 million airbags have been recalled globally with 70 percent of them in the United States.
Automakers have also been blasted by perceived lack of urgency in replacing airbags.
According to a U.S. Senate report published in March 2018, only six of the 17 affected automakers have instituted loaner car programs, with the culprits "putting their customers at risk of death or horrific injuries." At times, a resolution has been reached as long as four years from the start of the NHTSA's handling of the recall, with 10 years from the date the issue was first discovered.
"NHTSA still seems to be playing a game of regulatory whack-a-mole and twiddling its thumbs when it comes to actually enforcing the coordinated recall approach and benchmarks for automakers," said Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, Commerce Committee member, at the time.
In all, defective Takata airbags have resulted in 278 injuries and 15 deaths in the United States.
To learn if your vehicle is under recall, visit the NHTSA Recall website and enter your 17-digit VIN, found on the inside panel of your driver side car door.
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