Warning: 15.4 Million Cars Risk Air Bag Danger

Now is the time to take action on largest recall in U.S. history.

Traffic Safety

An Air bag light on an instrument cluster. DENVER (Aug. 13, 2019) – Even in the wake of a nationwide recall issued in 2015, some 15.4 million vehicles in the United States remain equipped with Takata air bags that pose a potentially deadly risk to both drivers and passengers. The recall involves 19 different automakers and more than 150 model and year combinations. Motorists should determine if their vehicle is affected by the recall and, if so, have the air bag repaired – at no cost – as soon as possible.

"All affected vehicles will receive a Takata air bag repair, free of charge, at auto dealerships and many mechanics across the country and in Colorado," said AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley. "Despite that, there are still nearly 17 million defective air bags in more than 15 million vehicles on American roadways. Vehicle owners need to take the recall very seriously, and get these air bags off the road as soon as possible. There's just no sense in losing lives to a defect that could be fixed for free."

AAA raised concerns about Takata air bags several years ago, as dangerous malfunctions were first reported across the country. Shortly thereafter, in May 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a nationwide recall of the faulty air bags. Initially, replacement parts were in short supply, forcing drivers to wait weeks to have work done. Parts for most vehicles are now generally available

So far, more than two-thirds – about 40 million – of all recalled Takata air bags have been repaired, leaving about one-third – or 16.6 million – still needing replacement. NHTSA cautions that additional recalls are pending – so the total numbers will likely change.

Manufactured by the Takata Corp., affected air bags contain a faulty inflator that can, over time, degrade and cause the air bag to rupture in a crash – sending metal fragments toward vehicle occupants. Since 2009, at least 16 people in the U.S. have been killed and more than 250 injured by defective Takata air bag inflators, per NHTSA.

A Quick Fix
Drivers can check their vehicle by visiting NHTSA’s recall website – www.nhtsa.gov/recalls – and by entering their vehicle identification number, or VIN. The 17-character VIN is found on the driver’s side dashboard near the windshield. It can also be found on the vehicle registration or insurance card. If a vehicle is under recall, the owner should contact their local dealer and schedule a free repair. The repair work can typically be completed in a few hours – a small sacrifice that could save the lives of drivers and their loved ones..

Even if their vehicle isn't affected by the Takata recall, motorists should be in the habit of periodically checking the NHTSA recall site – as it inventories all active recalls for any given vehicle. 

To find a dealership that is also a AAA Approved Auto Repair shop, visit aaa.com/autorepair. AAA-certified shops undergo rigorous inspections and provide members with discounts, longer warranties and peace of mind support.

About AAA Colorado
More than 695,000 members strong, AAA Colorado is the state’s greatest advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 million members with travel, insurance, financial, and automotive-related services — as well as member-exclusive savings. For more information, visit AAA.com.