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Massive Takata airbag recall: Everything you need to know, including full list of affected vehicles.
The automotive world and beyond is buzzing about the massive airbag recall covering many millions of vehicles in the United States from nearly two dozen brands. Here’s what you need to know about the problem; which vehicles may have the defective, shrapnel-shooting inflator parts from Japanese supplier Takata; and what to do if your vehicle is one of them.
8/8/18, 3:30 p.m.: Ford wants to fix every 2006 Ranger pickup so badly, it’s willing to pay dealerships $1000 to find every last one. The incentive now applies to approximately 8300 such pickups with faulty Takata airbags out of 33,320 affected in the recall. Of approximately 37 million vehicles recalled to replace frontal driver’s- and passenger-side inflators, the 2006 Ranger is considered to be one of the most dangerous because of its potential to spray shrapnel in a crash.
7/20/18, 11:10 a.m.: According to a new report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Transportation—which has concluded its audit of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s handling of the Takata airbag recalls—the federal government does not penalize automakers enough for violating recall requirements, and its poor record keeping may have put the American public at greater risk for many years before the Takata airbag defects surfaced.
It is yet another dismaying analysis of the agency since the last OIG report, published in June 2015, which followed the General Motors ignition-switch defects that left 124 people dead and 274 injured. While not as scathing, the latest report tackles the deadly Takata airbag-inflator debacle—the largest safety recall ever—and describes a fickle NHTSA staff who often fail to document or explain their decisions and a data-gathering process run amok. There was sufficient evidence from a random sample of 94 recalls NHTSA issued for light passenger vehicles between 2012 and 2016 (out of 1384 issued during that period) for the OIG to suggest “NHTSA’s lack of internal accountability and risk-based oversight inhibits the Agency’s ability to meet its safety mission.”
7/16/18, 3:30 p.m.: Owners and past owners of Ford Motor Company vehicles affected by the Takata recalls (listed at the bottom of this post) will receive part of a $299.1 million settlement reached with the automaker. In addition to forcing Ford to pay for an outreach program to contact owners who have not repaired their vehicles, the settlement means that affected owners will be eligible for rental cars or loaners and will have their repairs warrantied for up to two years or 75,000 miles. Additional expenses will be reimbursed by as much as $500 per person. The settlement mirrors other class-action suits filed against BMW, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota. The settlement is pending approval by the U.S. District Court in Miami, which is overseeing all Takata-related litigation.
The issue involves defective inflator and propellent devices that may deploy improperly in the event of a crash, shooting metal fragments into vehicle occupants. Approximately 42 million vehicles are potentially affected in the United States, and at least 7 million have been recalled worldwide. (UPDATE 9/28/2016: Affected-vehicle numbers, along with improper-deployment figures, continue to grow, as detailed in the updates below.)
Initially, only six makes were involved when Takata announced the fault in April 2013, but a Toyota recall in June this year—along with new admissions from Takata that it had little clue as to which cars used its defective inflators, or even what the root cause was—prompted more automakers to issue identical recalls. In July, NHTSA forced additional regional recalls in high-humidity areas including Florida, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to gather removed parts and send them to Takata for review.
Another major recall issued on October 20 expanded the affected vehicles across several brands. For its part, Toyota said it would begin to replace defective passenger-side inflators starting October 25; if parts are unavailable, however, it has advised its dealers to disable the airbags and affix “Do Not Sit Here” messages to the dashboard.
SRS airbag lettering
While Toyota says there have been no related injuries or deaths involving its vehicles, a New York Times report in September found a total of at least 139 reported injuries across all automakers. In particular, there have been at least two deaths and 30 injuries in Honda vehicles (UPDATE 12/12/2016: These figures are now verified as 11 deaths and 184 injuries in the U.S., as detailed in the updates below). According to the Times, Honda and Takata allegedly have known about the faulty inflators since 2004 but failed to notify NHTSA in previous recall filings (which began in 2008) that the affected airbags had actually ruptured or were linked to injuries and deaths.
Takata first said that propellant chemicals were mishandled and improperly stored during assembly, which supposedly caused the metal airbag inflators to burst open due to excessive pressure inside. In July, the company blamed humid weather and spurred additional recalls.
According to documents reviewed by Reuters, Takata says that rust, bad welds, and even chewing gum dropped into at least one inflator are also at fault. The same documents show that in 2002, Takata’s plant in Mexico allowed a defect rate that was “six to eight times above” acceptable limits, or roughly 60 to 80 defective parts for every 1 million airbag inflators shipped. The company’s study has yet to reach a final conclusion and report the findings to NHTSA.
AFFECTED VEHICLES (total U.S.-market number in parentheses, if known):
Acura: 2002–2003 3.2TL; 2003 3.2CL; 2003–2006 MDX; 2005–2012 RL; 2007–2016 RDX; 2009–2014 TL and TSX; 2010–2013 ZDX; 2011–2013 TSX Sports Wagon; 2013–2016 ILX (including hybrid)
Audi (more than 387,000): 2004–2009 A4; 2005–2009 S4; 2003–2011 A6; 2006–2013 A3; 2006–2009 A4 cabriolet; 2007–2008 RS4; 2007–2009 S4 cabriolet; 2007–2011 S6; 2008 RS4 cabriolet; 2009–2012, 2015 Q5; 2010–2011 A5 cabriolet; 2010–2012 S5 cabriolet; 2016–2017 TT; 2017 R8
BMW (more than 1.97 million): 2000–2011 3-series sedan; 2000–2012 3-series wagon; 2000–2013 3-series coupe and convertible; 2000–2013 M3 coupe and convertible; 2001–2003 5-series and M5; 2001–2013 X5; 2007–2010 X3; 2008–2013 1-series coupe and convertible; 2008–2011 M3 sedan; 2008–2014 X6 (including hybrid); 2011–2015 X1
Buick: 2015 LaCrosse
Cadillac: 2007–2014 Escalade, Escalade ESV; 2007–2013 Escalade EXT; 2015 XTS
Chevrolet (more than 1.91 million, including Buick, Cadillac, GMC, Saab, and Saturn): 2007–2014 Silverado HD, Suburban, and Tahoe; 2007–2013 Avalanche and Silverado 1500; 2015 Camaro, Equinox, and Malibu
Chrysler: 2005–2015 300; 2006–2008 Crossfire; 2007–2009 Aspen
Daimler: 2006–2009 Dodge Sprinter 2500 and 3500; 2007–2017 Freightliner Sprinter 2500 and 3500; 2008–2009 Sterling Bullet 4500 and 5500
Dodge/Ram (more than 5.64 million, including Chrysler, not including Daimler-built Sprinter): 2003–2008 Ram 1500; 2003–2009 Ram 2500; 2003–2010 Ram 3500; 2004–2009 Durango; 2005–2008 Magnum; 2005–2011 Dakota; 2006–2015 Charger; 2008–2014 Challenger; 2008–2010 Ram 4500 and Ram 5500
Ferrari (more than 2820): 2009–2014 California; 2010–2015 458 Italia; 2012–2016 Ferrari FF; 2012–2015 458 Spider; 2013–2017 Ferrari F12berlinetta; 2014–2015 458 Speciale; 2015 458 Speciale A; 2015–2017 California T; 2016–2017 Ferrari F12tdf, 488GTB, and 488 Spider; 2016 Ferrari F60; 2017 Ferrari GTC4Lusso
Fisker: 2012 Karma
Ford (3.1 million, including Lincoln and Mercury): 2004–2011 Ranger; 2005–2006 GT; 2005–2014, 2017 Mustang; 2006–2012 Fusion; 2007–2010 Edge; 2017 F-150
GMC: 2007–2014 Sierra HD, Yukon, and Yukon XL; 2007–2013 Sierra 1500; 2015 Terrain
Honda (11.4 million, including Acura): 2001–2012 Accord; 2001–2011 Civic (including hybrid and NGV); 2002–2011, 2016 CR-V; 2002–2004 Odyssey; 2003–2015 Pilot; 2003–2011 Element; 2006–2014 Ridgeline; 2006–2010, 2012–2016 Gold Wing motorcycle; 2007–2013 Fit; 2010–2015 Accord Crosstour; 2010–2014 Insight and FCX Clarity; 2011–2015 CR-Z; 2013–2014 Fit EV
Infiniti: 2001–2004 I30/I35; 2002–2003 QX4; 2003–2008 FX35/FX45; 2006–2010 M35/M45; 2009–2017 QX56/QX80; 2017–2018 QX30
Jaguar: 2009–2015 XF
Jeep: 2007–2016 Wrangler
Land Rover (more than 68,000): 2007–2012 Range Rover
Lexus: 2002–2010 SC430; 2006–2013 IS; 2007–2012 ES; 2008–2014 IS F; 2010–2015 IS C; 2010–2017 GX; 2010–2015 IS convertible; 2012 LFA
Lincoln: 2006–2012 Lincoln Zephyr and MKZ; 2007–2010 Lincoln MKX
Mazda (more than 733,000): 2003–2011, 2013 Mazda 6; 2006–2007 Mazdaspeed 6; 2004–2011 RX-8; 2004–2006 MPV; 2004–2009 B-series; 2007–2012 CX-7; 2007–2015 CX-9
McLaren: 2011–2015 P1; 2012–2014 MP4-12C; 2015–2016 650S; 2016–2017 570; 2016 675LT
Mercedes-Benz (1,044,602, including Daimler): 2005–2014 C-class (excluding C55 AMG but including 2008–2012 C63 AMG); 2007–2008 SLK-class; 2007–2017 Sprinter; 2009–2012 GL-class; 2009–2011 M-class; 2009–2012 R-class; 2010–2011 E-class sedan and wagon; 2010–2017 E-class coupe; 2011–2017 E-class convertible; 2010–2015 GLK-class; 2011–2015 SLS AMG coupe and roadster
Mercury: 2006–2011 Milan
Mitsubishi (more than 105,000): 2004 Lancer Sportback; 2004–2007 Lancer; 2004–2006 Lancer Evolution; 2006–2009 Raider; 2012–2017 iMiEV
Nissan (4.4 million, including Infiniti): 2001–2003 and 2016–2017 Maxima; 2002–2004 Pathfinder; 2002–2006 Sentra; 2007–2017 Versa sedan; 2007–2012 Versa hatchback; 2008–2018 370Z coupe/roadster; 2009–2014 Cube; 2010–2017 NV; 2012–2017 Altima, Versa Note, Armada, and Titan; 2013–2017 NV200; 2014–2017 Rogue
Pontiac (more than 300,000): 2003–2010 Vibe
Ram: (see Dodge)
Saab: 2003–2011 9-3; 2005–2006 9-2X; 2006–2009 9-5
Saturn: 2008–2009 Astra
Scion: 2008–2015 xB
Subaru (more than 380,000): 2003–2014 Legacy and Outback; 2003–2006 Baja; 2004–2011 Impreza; 2006–2014 Tribeca; 2009–2013 Forester; 2012–2014 WRX and WRX STI
Tesla: 2012–2016 Tesla Model S
Toyota (more than 6.6 million, including Lexus and Scion): 2002–2007 Sequoia; 2003–2013 Corolla and Corolla Matrix; 2003–2006 Tundra; 2004–2005 RAV4; 2006–2012 Yaris; 2010–2016 4Runner; 2011–2014 Sienna
Volkswagen (more than 680,000): 2006–2010, 2012–2014 Passat sedan and wagon; 2009–2017 CC; 2009–2013 GTI; 2010–2014 Jetta SportWagen and Golf; 2010–2014 Eos; 2013 Golf R; 2015 Tiguan