The Takata Air Bag Recall affects many millions of US vehicles from about 2 dozen brands. It could affect upward of 100 million cars worldwide and has been called by Bloomberg “the biggest auto recall in history”.
The problem is serious – the defective airbags shoot metal inflator parts like shrapnel when deployed. 13 people have been killed and 100 injured to date. One of the first victims, Carlos Solis, was killed after a low speed crash when the deployed airbag also propelled a hockey puck sized piece which hit him in the neck.
First recalled in 2013, the air bag recall has been expanded 20 times with more brands and models being added each year, including in 2016. Takata blamed mishandling of propellant chemicals. They also blamed bad welds and rust. Early recalls were increased in humid locations such as Florida but are now more widespread.
Manufacturing replacement air bags could take three years.