So far, at least 8 million vehicles manufactured by 10 different automakers have been recalled because of defective airbags that can explode and injure passengers with shrapnel.
According to a CNN Money news report, although these vehicles with the defective airbags have been recalled, the manufacturer of those faulty airbags, Takata, does not have enough replacement airbags to fix all of the recalled cars.
Is the Temporary Fix Safe?
Not all automakers whose vehicles are included in this recall have said how they will handle the expected shortage. But Toyota has said it plans to disable the faulty airbags once it runs out of replacements and repairs the 800,000 cars it has recalled.
But is that really the solution?
Since only a small percentage of the defective airbags are likely to explode in a crash, do we want to put vehicle occupants at risk and leave them unprotected in the event of an accident by disabling airbags?
Safety advocates agree. Clarence Ditlow, executive director of safety advocacy group, Center for Auto Safety, you do save more lives by leaving airbags in place than you would lose lives by the airbag exploding.
Even if a driver is wearing a seatbelt, the airbags can save his or her life in a crash.
Toyota on the other hand is saying that the recalled airbags are only on the passenger side of its cars. It is recommending that until the car is repaired, people should not ride in the front passenger seat.
Toyota says this is a temporary fix until the replacement airbag can be installed.
What Can Consumers Do?
This is a serious safety issue that is affecting millions of vehicles. Safety advocates say a majority of consumers do not pay attention to recalls. This also applies to those who buy used cars.
In such a climate where there is a vehicle recall announced every day, it is important for consumers to stay abreast of safety recall.
If you own a vehicle or if you are looking to buy a new or used car, please make sure you visit NHTSA’s website at safercar.gov.
You can type the vehicle identification number or VIN to find out if your vehicle is part of a safety recall. If your car has been recalled, schedule a visit to the dealer right away so that you can get it repaired at no cost.
The actions you take could have an impact on your safety and the safety of your loved ones.