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What You Need to Know About the Takata Airbag Recall

» Posted May 20, 2022Resources | Share This Post

Roughly 100 million malfunctioning Takata airbags have been recalled around the world over nearly a decade since the first reports of exploding safety devices causing accidents, injuries and even death came flooding in. 

Nearly 10 years later, however, vehicles with the defective airbags are still lurking on roads and used car dealership lots across the country. Millions of the defective airbags have not been fixed in the U.S. alone, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

That is a real safety risk, not only for drivers of vehicles with faulty airbags but for everyone else on the road. The airbags could deploy and burst at any time, sending shards of metal, glass and other material into the car without warning, injuring drivers and passengers and causing crashes.

Takata Recall Timeline

Tens of millions of vehicles have been recalled in the U.S. because of concerns about Takata airbags. That is the largest recall on record in the country.

  • May 2009: A teenage driver in Oklahoma after the airbag in her 2001 Honda Accord explodes, shooting metal fragments into her neck.
  • December 2011: Honda expands multiple recalls over exploding airbags after reports of other fatal accidents linked to the safety devices.
  • April 2013: Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda recall 3.4 million vehicles, citing the hazard posed by Takata airbags. BMW launches recall the following month.
  • September 2013: A Los Angeles man dies when his airbag apparently explodes in his Acura sedan.
  • November-December 2014: U.S. Senate holds hearings on the Takata airbag crisis, following more deaths in the U.S. and Malaysia and reports that the company had known about the problem for years. Takata says it is unable to identify the cause of the problem.
  • May 2015: Toyota calls back another 5 million vehicles. Nissan adds another 1.6 million to its recall list.
  • November 2015: NHTSA imposes a record civil penalty of up to $200 million against Takata. The agency also requires Takata to phase out inflators used in the recalled airbags.
  • April 2016: A Texas teenager becomes the tenth person in the U.S. to die from injuries caused by exploding Takata airbags.
  • June 2016: Audi, BMW, General Motors, Jaguar/Land Rover, and Mercedes-Benz have added almost 2.5 million more U.S. vehicles to the list of cars with defective Takata airbags.
  • Jan 2017: Ford expands its recall of vehicles with Takata airbags.
  • February 2017: Takata pleads guilty to deceiving automakers about the safety of its airbags. Automakers dispute charges that they knowingly installed the defective airbags in their cars.
  • June 2017: Takata files for bankruptcy.
  • March 2019: A Honda Civic driver in Arizona dies from injuries sustained from an exploding airbag.
  • November 2020: General Motors says it will recall millions of Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac trucks and SUVs to replace faulty Takata airbags.
  • January 2021: NHTSA says approximately 67 million inflators are under recall for 19 affected vehicle manufacturers. Roughly 50 million have been repaired or are otherwise accounted for, according to the agency.

Check for Recalls Before You Buy

Used car dealers are generally not required to disclose that the vehicles they are selling are subject to open recalls. 

That means it is on car buyers to check whether a particular vehicle has been recalled - and if it has been brought in and fixed - before making a purchase. Get the car’s Vehicle Identification Number in person and plug it into NHTSA’s website to get this vital information.

Speak with a San Diego Lemon Law Attorney

If you are stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle or locked in a dispute with a car manufacturer over repairs, the San Diego lemon law attorneys at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help. 

Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a San Diego lemon law attorney.


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