Airbag recall now affects nearly 40 million vehicles

The massive recall of Takata air bags is not about to go away any time soon. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced 14 additonal models of cars that are affected by the recalled air bags. The recall-one of the largest in consumer history-is estimated to affect nearly 40 million vehicles.

The recall was first announced in July of 2017, when the Japanese air bag manufacturer acknowledged that the chemicals used in its air bag inflators may cause serious injury. Since then, the list of automakers affected by the recall has continued to grow. Consumers should identify whether their vehicle may be affected so that they can avoid potentially life-threatening injuries.

A dangerous chemical

Takata, a Japanese automotive company, is one of the world's foremost producers of air bags. The company was forced to recall millions of its airbags after finding that a chemical used in its air bag inflators can become explosive. Ammonium nitrate is used to create a small explosion that prompts air bags to rapidly inflate. When the chemical is exposed to high temperatures, it can combust and launch pieces of shrapnel at drivers and passengers. So far, there have been 180 injuries and 21 fatalities due to the air bags.

Several new models affected

The latest announcement from the NHTSA affects models from at least 14 different automakers. These include BMW, Daimler Vans, Ferrari, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, McLaren, Nissan, Subraru, Tesla, Toyota and Volkswagen. A complete list can be found at the NHTSA website.

What consumers should do

The thought that the very air bags that are supposed to protect drivers could cause them harm is very frightening. But there are some things that consumers can do to protect themselves from potentially dangerous air bag inflators. Automobile owners are encouraged to contact their auto manufacturer to find out whether their vehicle is affected by the recall. Anyone who has been injured by Takata airbags may be legally entitled to compensation for their injuries.

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