Defective airbags in at least 4.7 million vehicles...at least 4 dead

Date: 
10/20/2014
AirbagCasualtyCBS

Aftermath of one of the explosions as shown on CBS

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) put out a notice on Mon. Oct. 20, that 4.7 million vehicles have defective airbags.

They urge owners with identified auto models to take immediate action particularly if they are in the following areas: Florida, Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii.

At least four people have died when air bags were ruptured by an inflator mechanism and passengers were sprayed with metal fragments.

Made by Takata, the airbags appear to have a higher probability of deploying in high humidity areas like Florida, Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii.

These bags are installed in many different models including Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Acura, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Infiniti, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Oldsmobile and Pontiac cars. And, those cars are in many different climates.

The NHTSA website lists the following vehicles impacted by the recalls for Takat airbags: 

Toyota: 778,177 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2002 – 2004 Lexus SC
2003 – 2004 Toyota Corolla
2003 – 2004 Toyota Corolla Matrix
2002 – 2004 Toyota Sequoia
2003 – 2004 Toyota Tundra
2003 – 2004 Pontiac Vibe

Honda: 2,803,214 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2001 – 2007 Honda Accord (4 cyl)
2001 – 2002 Honda Accord (6 cyl)
2001 – 2005 Honda Civic
2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V
2003 – 2011 Honda Element
2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey
2003 – 2007 Honda Pilot
2006 – Honda Ridgeline
2003 – 2006 Acura MDX
2002 – 2003 Acura TL/CL

Nissan: 437,712 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2001 – 2003 Nissan Maxima
2001 – 2003 Nissan Pathfinder
2002 – 2003 Nissan Sentra
2001 – 2003 Infiniti I30/I35
2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4
2003 – Infiniti FX

Mazda: 18,050 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2003 – 2004 Mazda6
2004 – Mazda RX-8

BMW: 573,935 total number of potentially affected vehicles

2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan
2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon
2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible
2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe
2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible

General Motors: 133,221 total number potentially affected vehicles

2002 – 2003 Buick LeSabre
2002 – 2003 Buick Rendezvous
2002 – 2003 Cadillac DeVille
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Impala
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2002 – 2003 Chevrolet Venture
2002 – 2003 GMC Envoy
2002 – 2003 GMC Envoy XL
2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Aurora
2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Bravada
2002 – 2003 Oldsmobile Silhouette
2002 – 2003 Pontiac Bonneville
2002 – 2003 Pontiac Montana

Problems surfaced with Honda vehicles in 2004 but recalls were not initiated until 2008. Now recalls are occurring only in southern states and nine auto manufacturers have these bags in their vehicles.

This was reported on CBS...

It is advised that vehicle owners learn if their auto airbags are manufactured by Takata. It they are, contact your dealer.

Searches by Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) should show any recalls regarding that VIN number. The url given for this search ss listed here. During testing for this story, that link is not working, but hopefully that is because the site temporarily off line.

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. notified NHTSA in June that they decided to conduct a safety improvement campaign for the driver's airbag inflator in certain model year Hondas and Acuras. In the letter, they stated that the driver's (frontal) airbag inflator could produce excessive internal pressure. They then explained that if an airbag deploys with excessive internal pressure, it may cause the inflator to rupture and that metal fragments could pass through the airbag cushion material. 

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