16 Million Defective Air Bags Still Need Repair

A nationwide recall of Takata air bags was issued in May 2015, but far too many of the potentially dangerous units remain on the road. It’s time to see if your car has one of them.

Nearly 15.4 million vehicles have not yet had their defective air bag inflators repaired, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Because some vehicles have more than one air bag, the total number of bags covered by the recall is closer to 16.6 million.

Until they’re repaired, those air bags pose a threat to drivers and passengers. When they deploy in a crash, they can send bits of shrapnel hurtling toward vehicle occupants. Defective Takata air bags have killed 16 people and injured more than 250 since 2009.

The repair work itself can usually be completed within a few hours.

As the nation’s leading traffic safety advocate, AAA is asking everyone to check the status of their vehicle. Determining if your vehicle is included in the recall is simple. Just visit nhtsa.gov/recalls and enter your Vehicle Identification Number. The VIN is a 17-character ID unique to your car or truck. You can find it on the driver’s side dashboard near the bottom of the windshield. It’s also on the vehicle registration and insurance card.

When you enter your VIN on the NHTSA recall site, you can learn instantly if the air bags in your vehicle need to be repaired. If the nationwide recall covers it, you should contact a dealer and schedule the repair. There is no charge for the repair, but an authorized dealer needs to do it.

The recall involves 19 different automakers and includes more than 150 model and year combinations. Air bags in all of the vehicles are potentially dangerous, NHTSA says the air bags in the vehicles listed below “show a far higher risk” of rupture. These models shouldn’t be driven, according to NHTSA, unless you are taking them in for repairs:

  • 2001-2002 Honda Civic
  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord
  • 2002-2003 Acura TL
  • 2002 Honda CR-V
  • 2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003 Acura CL
  • 2003 Honda Pilot
  • Certain 2006 Ford Ranger (Ford advises not to drive)
  • Certain 2006 Mazda B-Series (Mazda advises not to drive)