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Auto Manufacturers Issue Recall, Risk of Explosive Airbags

In a precautionary move, Honda, Mazda, and Nissan are recalling a total of 3 million cars worldwide due to faulty passenger seat and driver seat airbags. It is among the top 5 biggest recalls in the industry’s history.

According to CBC news, the vehicles recalled range from anything manufactured between 2000 and 2005, depending on the company. Amidst intense scrutiny with General Motors, car companies are taking extra precaution to avoid the same PR scramble. As soon as it became clear that there were potential issues, they acted quickly.

Recalled vehicles are equipped with Takata Co. airbags. Takata is the world’s second-biggest automotive safety parts maker. The airbag is at risk to explode and eject shrapnel at drivers and passengers.

Honda recalled 2.03 million cars manufactured between 2000 and 2005 because of the faulty product, 1.02 million of which were distributed in North America. Nissan recalled 755,000 vehicles manufactured between 2001 and 2003 across the globe. Mazda recalled almost 160,000 vehicles manufactured between 2002 and 2004. CBCnews Business provides this information in their latest article on the matter.

No crashes or injuries are related to the latest three recalls, but six injuries and two deaths have been associated with Takata airbags in a Honda vehicle in 2009.

High humidity contributes to the risk of airbag explosions. The airbags are said to have degraded from poor storage and exposure to moisture in the factory. It is why Honda and six other automakers said on Monday that they were recalling more vehicles in high humidity regions in the United States. Dubbed a “field action,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ordered the recall to replace Takata airbag inflators in susceptible regions.

Do not ignore the recall if you own any of the vehicles listed that have a Takata airbag installed. Amidst the barrage of recall notices from other car companies like GM, it is easy to be overwhelmed and dismiss the possibility of being affected altogether. Alexander Kaufman, business fellow at the Huffington Post, calls it “recall fatigue,” an onset of apathy that demotivates people to bring their cars to the mechanic to get the repairs their car needs.

At least 13 deaths have been attributed to the defective ignition switches in certain GM models over the past decade. Faulty equipment can injure anyone at any time, without warning. Now automotive companies are more proactive to inform consumers to prevent not only lethal, but avoidable, outcomes.

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