In December of 2015, a man from Georgia was killed because the airbag in his 2006 Ford Ranger ruptured, sending metal shrapnel flying through the passenger compartment of his truck. This fatality marks the 10th fatality worldwide that has been linked to airbags manufactured by Takata Corporation. As a result, additional recalls of vehicles utilizing Takata’s airbag inflator were issued as of February 2016.
Takata Corporation is a Japan-based automotive part manufacturer that makes airbags and airbag components for more than a dozen automotive brands, including Honda, Ford, and Mazda to name a few. Since 2013, automobile manufacturers who used Takata’s airbags have issued recalls because of the airbag’s potential to rupture and kill passengers.
Prior to February of 2016, about 19 million vehicles worldwide were affected by the recalls. As stated previously, however, additional recalls have been issued as of this month and vehicle brands now affected include Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler. These most recent recalls bring the number of recalled vehicles worldwide to around 28 million, with an estimated 24 million vehicles affected in the U.S.
The NHTSA has released a list of all vehicles affected by the Takata recalls on their website: http://www.safercar.gov/rs/takata/takatalist.html. Currently, vehicles that were made in 2008 or before and are located in high humidity regions have top priority for repairs. The NHTSA has stated, however, that they don’t expect all affected vehicles to be repaired until late 2017.