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Nearly 8 million cars recalled for faulty Takata airbags

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued an urgent advisory to the owners of 7.8 million cars throughout the U.S., which involve ten different manufacturers, for a problem involving faulty airbags.

The Department of Transportation will conduct a review of the NHTSA, which has been criticized for its handling of the Takata airbag recall. The agencies website, which helps owners determine whether their car has been recalled, was down for two days after they released an urgent recall notice. An investigation by the New York Times, found that the NHTSA did not react to problems until they reached a crisis level, including the Takata airbag problems.

The NHTSA has urged the owners of certain Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors vehicles to act immediately on recall notices to replace defective Takata airbags. The message from the NHTSA came with a particular urgency for owners of vehicles affected by regional recalls in the following areas: Florida, Puerto Rico, limited areas near the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana, as well as Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii.

The NHTSA reported that the problem seems to stem from consistent exposure to heat and humidity, so drivers in warmer areas should get to their dealership immediately.
USA Today reported that safety activists and certain U.S. senators questioned whether millions of other drivers have been left in danger, because the recalls and free repairs for the potentially dangerous airbags are regional. Because vehicles often travel from state to state, for vacation and also business, Senators Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut, and Ed Markey, Massachusetts, presented a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, questioning the NHTSA’s distinction between areas. The senators believed the NHTSA should immediately issue a nationwide recall on all affected cars, regardless of where the vehicles are located.

Many cars that are equipped with Takata airbags have been under recall for quite some time. The urgent NHTSA warning came as a result of testing involving passenger side airbags that showed they were particularly susceptible to failure, in some cases causing the bags to inflate with too much force, hurling plastic and metal parts, like shrapnel, into the faces and torsos of vehicle occupants.

Reuters reported that at least four deaths have been linked to the airbag problem and the New York Times reported 100 injuries linked. Both news organizations also reported that senators Blumenthal and Markey expressed alarm and astonishment that the NHTSA would agree to a policy by Toyota and GM that car dealers should disable passenger-side air bags.

More than 14 million vehicles with defective airbags, including 11.6 million in the United States, have been recalled since 2008. An investigation by the New York Times found that Takata was alerted to the problem as early as 2004, when the airbag in a 2002 Honda Accord ruptured in Alabama, but neither Takata nor Honda issued a recall or alerted federal safety regulators.

The current recalled list includes the following vehicles:
BMW: 627,615 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan
2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe
2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon
2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible
2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe
2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible
Chrysler: 371,309 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2008 Dodge Ram 1500
2005 – 2008 Dodge Ram 2500
2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 3500
2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 4500
2008 – Dodge Ram 5500
2005 – 2008 Dodge Durango
2005 – 2008 Dodge Dakota
2005 – 2008 Chrysler 300
2007 – 2008 Chrysler Aspen
Ford: 58,669 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2004 – Ranger
2005 – 2006 GT
2005 – 2007 Mustang
General Motors: undetermined total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2005 Pontiac Vibe
2005 – Saab 9-2X
Honda: 5,051,364 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2001 – 2007 Honda Accord)
2001 – 2002 Honda Accord
2001 – 2005 Honda Civic
2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V
2003 – 2011 Honda Element
2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey
2003 – 2007 Honda Pilot
2006 – Honda Ridgeline
2003 – 2006 Acura MDX
2002 – 2003 Acura TL/CL
2005 – Acura RL
Mazda: 64,872 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2007 Mazda6
2006 – 2007 MazdaSpeed6
2004 – 2008 Mazda RX-8
2004 – 2005 MPV
2004 – B-Series Truck
Mitsubishi: 11,985 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2004 – 2005 Lancer
2006 – 2007 Raider
Nissan: 694,626 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2001 – 2003 Nissan Maxima
2001 – 2004 Nissan Pathfinder
2002 – 2004 Nissan Sentra
2001 – 2004 Infiniti I30/I35
2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4
2003 – 2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45
Subaru: 17,516 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2003 – 2005 Baja
2003 – 2005 Legacy
2003 – 2005 Outback
2004 – 2005 Impreza
Toyota: 877,000 total number of potentially affected vehicles
2002 – 2005 Lexus SC
2002 – 2005 Toyota Corolla
2003 – 2005 Toyota Corolla Matrix
2002 – 2005 Toyota Sequoia
2003 – 2005 Toyota Tundra

If you have suffered airbag-related injuries to the head, neck, face or torso, and believe it may be as a result of a faulty Takata airbag, contact the Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys. Call the Munley team today for a free consultation at 855-866-5529.

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