While an airbag is a safety device, its explosion if not properly controlled can be deadly. Japanese supplier Takata is recalling more than 3.3 million vehicles globally because its airbags when deployed can send metal fragments – shrapnel – into a car’s interior striking and potentially seriously injuring the passenger seat occupant or other occupants.
More than three million BMW, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota vehicles are affected by the safety defect caused by a too powerful inflator. At least six vehicles in the U.S. and Japan have been identified with the problem, although Takata in the required NHTSA filing said it is unaware of any accidents or injuries.
Owners of all the vehicles where a defective air bag may have been installed either as original equipment, or as a replacement, will be notified by their vehicle manufacturers. Dealers will inspect vehicles, and where a defective air bag inflator is identified, the inflator will be replaced, free of charge as is required by NHTSA regulations in the United States. Owners may contact their vehicle manufacturer for more information. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327 or go to www.safercar.gov.