Decade-Long Recall Effort Leaves Millions of Airbags Unrepaired


Photo credit: Attapon Thana /

A decade after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) initiated a recall of Takata airbags, over 6.4 million vehicles in the U.S. still have these hazardous airbags, as reported by CARFAX. Approximately 40 percent of these vehicles are located in NHTSA’s Zone A states, which have the highest heat and humidity levels, increasing the risk associated with these airbags. These states include Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas.

Distribution of Unfixed Vehicles

Fourteen states have 150,000 or more vehicles with unrepaired Takata airbags. Leading the list, Texas has 788,000 vehicles, followed by California with 739,000 and Florida with 305,000. Additional states with a significant number of affected vehicles include North Carolina, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and Alabama.

Photo credit: CARFAX

Risks and Consequences

The defective Takata airbags are prone to excessive force deployment due to prolonged exposure to heat and humidity, potentially turning the inflator’s metal components into dangerous projectiles. This defect has resulted in 27 deaths and at least 400 injuries in the U.S., according to NHTSA. The recall affects over 67 million airbags in more than 40 million vehicles from 19 different automakers.

The Call for Immediate Action

Despite extensive efforts from various entities, millions of vehicles still operate with these dangerous airbags. Faisal Hasan, CARFAX General Manager for Data, stressed the urgency for consumers to replace their airbags. The replacement process is free and can be completed quickly, potentially saving lives.

Tools for Recall Management

To help consumers stay informed about recalls, the CARFAX Car Care app provides free alerts for any new recalls issued for their vehicles. Over 40 million users are currently utilizing this service. Consumers can also visit to check for any outstanding recalls by entering their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) or license plate information.

Expanding State-Level Recall Notifications

CARFAX, in collaboration with the Alliance for Automotive Innovation, is working to expand the Vehicle Recall Search Service to more states. This service, which began in 2018, is currently used by Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maryland, New York State, Ohio, and Texas. It has checked more than 5.8 billion vehicles since its launch, helping notify residents about open safety recalls.

This article was co-written using AI and was then heavily edited and optimized by our editorial team.

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