The AP reports that, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report, a Florida woman has died due to a faulty Takata air bag that ruptured. Nichol Barker was hit in the head by metal pieces, which left a gaping wound and broke her skull. According to lead investigator Sgt Chester Everett’s report, Baker should have survived the incident. The AP states, “Barker is at least the 21st person killed worldwide since 2009 by exploding Takata air bags, which were first recalled in the early 2000s.”
An estimated 37 million vehicles are currently under recall for approximately 50 million defective Takata air bags that can explode when the air bag deploys, causing serious injury or even death. Additional air bags are scheduled to be recalled by December 2019, bringing the total number of affected air bags to around 65-70 million. Takata supplied these defective air bags to many vehicle manufacturers for years, creating one of the largest and most complex recalls in U.S. history. NHTSA and vehicle manufacturers urge the public to get their vehicles fixed as soon as possible; the recall repair is FREE.
If your vehicle is currently under recall, you should have received a notice in the mail from your vehicle’s manufacturer. If you haven’t received a notice but are concerned your vehicle may be included, use NHTSA’s Recalls Look-up Tool to check. To get future notices if your vehicle is recalled, sign up for e-mail alerts at NHTSA.gov/alerts.
NHTSA also recommends that you use the VIN Look-up Tool at least twice a year to see if your vehicle is under any safety recall. Please note that vehicles that have not yet been recalled, but are scheduled to be recalled in the future under NHTSA’s Consent Order with Takata, will not be searchable until they are actually recalled – this is an example of why it is so important to check for recalls twice each year.