takata airbag recall:

Automakers have added more than 1.7 million vehicles in the U.S. to the list of those that should have their Takata airbag inflators replaced.

Those vehicles are part of the largest and most complex automotive recall in U.S. history, covering 50 million airbag inflators in 37 million vehicles from 19 manufacturers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

This latest action includes cars, trucks, and SUVs from Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Tesla, VW, and others. And it comes on the heels of announcements from FCA (the parent company of Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram), Ford, Honda, Mazda, and Toyota that included more than 3.5 million vehicles.

This recall covers both driver- and passenger-side front airbag inflators, and is part of the effort by NHTSA and automakers to space out the replacement of Takata airbag inflators based on the risk to drivers and passengers.

The goal has been to get replacement inflators to vehicle owners in the highest-risk regions first, and then to the rest of the country, as the supply of replacement inflators grows. The last wave of recalls is expected to be announced early in 2020.  

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At least 15 drivers and passengers in the U.S. have died and more than 250 people have been injured because of the airbag inflators, NHTSA says.

The devices use ammonium nitrate to inflate the airbag in the event of a crash. The ammonium nitrate can become unstable over time, leading to inflators that explode with an unexpectedly violent force.

According to NHTSA, if the defective airbag ruptures, it can spray sharp metal fragments directly at the driver and passengers, increasing the risk of death or injury. 

takata airbag recall

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The Details

The problem: Chemicals inside the Takata airbag inflators can become unstable over time, especially after exposure to temperature fluctuations and periods of constant high humidity.

The fix: The automakers will let owners of affected vehicles know when they may schedule service. Dealers will replace airbag inflators at no charge to owners. If you own one of these recalled vehicles, wait for the automaker to notify you that a replacement airbag is available. 

Audi Vehicles Recalled

A total of 6,523 Audi vehicles are being recalled. These include:

• 2017 Audi R8 sports cars
• 2016-20917 Audi TT coupes and convertibles

How to Contact the Manufacturer: This recall is expected to begin in March. Affected owners can call Audi customer service at 800-253-2834.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 19V014

BMW Vehicles Recalled

A total of 266,044 BMW vehicles are being recalled. These include:

• 2015 BMW X1 SUVS to replace the driver-side front airbag inflator
• 2007-2014 BMW X5 and X6 SUVs to replace the passenger-side front airbag inflator
• 2000-2003 BMW 5-Series sedans and 2000-2004 X5 SUVs with optional Sport steering wheel to replace the driver-side front airbag inflator

How to Contact the Manufacturer: This recall is expected to begin in March. Affected owners can call BMW customer service at 800-525-7417.

NHTSA Campaign Numbers: 19V015, 19V016, 19V017

Mercedes-Benz Vehicles Recalled

A total of 288,779 Mercedes-Benz vehicles are being recalled to replace passenger-side front airbag inflators. These include:

• 2010-2015 C250, C300, C300 4Matic, C350, and C63 AMG sedans, coupes, and convertibles
• 2010-2017 E350, E350 4Matic, E400, E400 4Matic, and E550 coupes and convertibles
• 2010-2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK 250, GLK350, and GLK350 4Matic SUVs
• 2011-2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG hardtop and convertible sports cars

How to Contact the Manufacturer: According to NHTSA, interim notification letters will be sent to affected owners from Feb. 1, 2019 through March 8, 2019. A second letter will be sent when parts are available. Affected owners can call Mercedes-Benz customer service at 800-367-6372.

NHTSA campaign number: 19V010

Subaru Vehicles Recalled

A total of 826,144 Subaru vehicles are being recalled to replace driver-side front airbag inflators. These include:

• 2010-2013 Subaru Forester SUVs
• 2010-2011 Subaru Impreza sedans and hatchbacks
• 2010-2014 Subaru Legacy sedans and wagons
• 2010-2014 Subaru Outback wagons
• 2010-2014 Subaru Tribeca SUVs
• 2010-2014 Subaru WRX sports cars

How to Contact the Manufacturer: NHTSA says this recall has already begun. Affected owners can call Subaru customer service at 844-373-6614.

NHTSA Campaign Numbers: 19V007, 19V008, 19V009. Subaru’s own number for this recall is TKA-19.

Tesla Vehicles Recalled

A total of 68,673 Tesla vehicles are being recalled to replace passenger-side front airbag inflators. This recall includes only 2014-2016 Tesla Model S sedans.

How to Contact the Manufacturer: Affected owners can call Tesla at 877-798-3752.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 19V002. Tesla’s own number for this recall is SB-19-20-001.

Volkswagen Vehicles Recalled

A total of 112,871 Volkswagen vehicles are being recalled to replace driver-side front airbag inflators. These include:

• 2015-2016 Volkswagen Eos convertibles
• 2015-2017 Volkswagen CC sedans
• 2015 Volkswagen Passat sedans

How to Contact the Manufacturer: This recall is expected to begin in March. Affected owners can call VW customer service at 800-893-5298.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 19V014

Additional Vehicles Recalled

The recall expansion also includes certain Ferrari sports cars and Mercedes-Benz and Freightliner Sprinter commercial vans.