The faulty airbags were produced by Takata Corporation

By Helen Murphy
December 05, 2019 12:40 PM
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About 1.4 million vehicles have been recalled after defects were found in airbags installed in various auto brands, including Toyota, Honda and BMW.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the vehicles were recalled on Wednesday because of faulty airbags produced by the Takata Corporation.

The agency said one death and multiple injuries have been reported as a result of the faulty airbags.

Defective Takata airbags have previously prompted other recalls. The NHTSA estimates that as many as 41.6 million vehicles in total have been recalled in the United States with faulty Takata airbags.

However, unlike previous recalls, Wednesday’s recall only affects vehicles that contain Non-Azide Driver Inflators. The defect in these inflators can result in the airbag either exploding or underinflating when it’s deployed, risking serious injury or death, the NHTSA said.

“In extreme cases the inflator explodes, shooting shrapnel toward vehicle occupants,” according to the agency.

“Due to a manufacturing issue, the NADI inflators may absorb moisture, causing the inflators to rupture or the air bag cushion to underinflate,” documents from the NHTSA reported. “In the event of a crash necessitating air bag deployment, an inflator rupture may result in metal fragments striking the driver or other occupants. An underinflated air bag may not properly protect the occupant.”

The recall affects cars made by BMW, Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi Motors, and Volkswagen’s Audi division, the NHTSA said. The affected airbags were produced by Takata between 1995 and 1999.

Owners can check to see if their car is affected by the recall by visiting the NHTSA’s website, calling NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or going to www.safercar.gov.