Your car’s airbags are some of its more effective safety features. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, frontal airbags saved more than 50,000 lives in car crashes that occurred between 1987 and 2017.
Airbags can only do their job when they are in good condition, of course. Over the past few years, Takata has recalled millions of defective airbags. Regrettably, faulty Takata airbags continue to kill Americans.
The defective airbags
To protect you during a motor vehicle crash, airbags must deploy forcefully in less than one second. To do so, airbags have inflators that cause a small explosion.
With the faulty Takata airbags, the inflators may corrode over time, potentially making them ticking timebombs. When a degraded Takata airbag fails, it may send sharp pieces of metal flying into the driver or passengers.
The recent Takata airbag fatality
In January 2021, a South Carolina man lost his life when a defective Takata airbag inflator exploded, marking the 19th fatality in the U.S. It is unclear whether the man knew of the risk, as he was not the registered owner of the vehicle and likely did not receive a recall notice.
Your safety strategy
You simply cannot risk your life by continuing to drive a vehicle with a defective Takata airbag.
Because many automakers have installed these airbags on their vehicles, it can be challenging to know whether your car, truck or SUV needs repairs. To remove all doubt, input your vehicle’s identification number into the NHTSA’s recall search engine.
Ultimately, if you have a car with a faulty Takata airbag, you may want to stop driving it until a qualified technician can make the necessary repairs.