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Mike Damaso
Mike Damaso
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4.7 Million Vehicles With Airbags That May Not Deploy

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Many of us feel safe when we are behind the wheel of our vehicles because we know manufacturers have designed our cars to protect us in the event of an accident. We assume that in the event of a significant impact the airbags will deploy as a precaution and for safety.  For the owners of cars made in the early 2000s, that may not be the case.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is actually encouraging individuals who own a car made in the early 2000s to contact their dealer, due to potential airbag defects. The federal agency has released that airbags may fail on 4.7 million vehicles, including Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mazda, BMW and GM vehicles. A full list of the vehicles subject to this most recent recall can be found by clicking here.

The recall was sparked Monday when NHTSA made an urgent warning to owners of vehicles, which are fitted with airbags made by Takata Corp., to have their vehicles inspected. Although this is not the first Toyota recall involving Takata airbags, Toyota has since added another 247,000 cars as part of a “supplemental safety recall”, after discovering several of its 2001-2004 model year vehicles were fitted with the suspected defective Takata airbags.

Although this urgent warning was just released this past Monday by NHTSA, problems have been known to be occurring with frontal airbags in select vehicles since July of this year. This is not a new issue that has just arisen. We posted in July about Toyota’s recall of certain model year 2002-2004 Sequoia, Lexus SC, and certain 2003-2004 Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Tundra and Pontiac Vibe vehicles due to frontal airbag defects. Now, three months after Toyota’s original recall of 218,000 vehicles due to the defective Takata airbags, it is re-notifying owners and adding 28,515 vehicles in “high-humidity” areas, a number which Toyota has stated may be subject to change as they continue to sort through data.

Thus far, two deaths have been reportedly linked to the Takata airbag defect and Reuters reports that two more deaths are believed to also be connected to the defective airbags. Toyota has issued a warning that no one should ride in the front passenger seat of the recalled vehicles until recall repairs have been done.

Occasionally, manufacturers release a vehicle for purchase to the public, which is not as safe as intended. Vehicles can be defectively designed and manufactured; or parts can be defective causing malfunction in how the vehicle operates. When defects occur owners and the public at large are at an increased risk of injury and, in the event of a significant accident, death. We deserve to feel safe in our vehicles.  And manufactures need to be held responsible for the oversight and delay in notifying owners of defects that are missed before release of vehicles to the public.  This is especially true when an earlier recall or correction of defects would have saved lives.