Dangerous Takata Airbags Still on Roads Despite Decade of Recalls

More than 6.4 million older vehicles are still on U.S. roads with airbags that could shoot pieces of metal into occupants.


Ten years after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mandated the recall of Takata airbags nationwide because of the risk they pose for bodily harm -- or even death -- to occupants, more than 6.4 million vehicles in the U.S. still have those airbags, according to CARFAX data.

More than 2.5 million -- roughly 40% of all these unfixed vehicles -- are located in states that NHTSA calls Zone A, according to CARFAX vehicle history data. These states "pose the highest threat to safety" because of their high heat and humidity: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas.

Fourteen states have 150,000 or more unfixed vehicles with Takata airbags:

Texas: 788,000
California: 739,000
Florida: 305,000
North Carolina: 216,000
Ohio: 209,000
New York: 206,000
Pennsylvania: 204,000
Tennessee: 202,000
Arizona: 201,000
Georgia: 195,000
Illinois: 167,000
Michigan: 164,000
Indiana: 154,000
Alabama: 151,000

Extended exposure to heat and humidity can cause Takata airbag inflators to deploy far more explosively than expected. That excessive force can launch pieces of metal surrounding the inflator into a vehicle's cabin like shrapnel, posing a high risk to occupants.

NHTSA data shows 27 people in the U.S. have been killed by these airbags and at least 400 have been injured. More than 67 million airbags in more than 40 million vehicles have been recalled in models from 19 automakers.

"Even after a decade of a dedicated and committed effort by the vehicle manufacturers, government, nonprofits and businesses, it's concerning that so many affected vehicles continue to be driven on U.S. roads with these potentially dangerous airbags sitting inside," said Faisal Hasan, CARFAX general manager for data. "It's easy to see recall fatigue settle in for many consumers, but they need to act. We know that raising the alarm with local media can make that happen urgently. Getting an airbag replaced is quick, free to them, and could save the life of a loved one -- or their own!"

Nissan Issues 'Do Not Drive' Warning for 83,920 Vehicles

Nissan issued a "Do Not Drive" warning for 83,920 model year 2002-2006 vehicles equipped with unrepaired Takata airbags. Owners of these vehicles are advised not to drive until the defective airbags are replaced to prevent potential fatalities and injuries.

The recall affects specific 2002-2006 Nissan Sentra, 2002-2004 Nissan Pathfinder, and 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4 models. These vehicles are subject to open Takata air bag recalls under NHTSA campaigns 20V-008 and 20V-747. The NHTSA is urging all vehicle owners to immediately check if their vehicle has an open Takata air bag recall and schedule a free repair if needed.

Nissan and Infiniti are offering free towing, mobile repair and in select locations, loaner vehicles. Owners can contact Nissan at 800-647-7261 or visit Nissan’s recall website, and Infiniti owners can reach out at 800-662-6200 or visit the Infiniti recall website for more information.

A similar warning was  issued earlier this year by Toyota.

Vehicle owners should use NHTSA’s Recalls Lookup Tool with their license plate number or VIN to search for any open safety recalls. Alternatively, the SaferCar app can automatically check for recalls. For future alerts on safety recalls, sign up at NHTSA.gov/Alerts.

AkzoNobel Beta web graphic v2 600px

Shop & Product Showcase