(NAPSI)—Today, in the U.S., more than 17 million recalled Takata airbags remain in vehicles on the road. A defective part inside the airbag can explode when the airbag deploys, potentially shooting sharp metal fragments at the driver and passengers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that 16 people in the U.S. have been killed, and hundreds of others alleged to have been injured, by this defect.
Affected vehicles include those made by BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ferrari, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Mazda, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Scion, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota and Volkswagen.
Vehicle manufacturers are sending official recall notices to affected consumers. Consumers also get notifications through postcards, e-mail, social media and other forms of communication urging them to contact their dealers immediately to schedule an appointment for a free recall repair.
Even if they haven’t received a communication, all vehicle owners should check if their vehicle is affected by the Takata airbag recall by visiting www.SafeAirbags.com or www.NHTSA.gov/Recalls and entering their vehicle identification number (VIN).
Dealerships around the country have replacement parts available, and the free recall repair should take an average of one to several hours depending on vehicle make and model.
“Unfortunately, many consumers are not taking immediate action, either because they have ignored the repeated safety recall notices or do not understand the severity of the situation,” said Patrick Juneau, who is leading a nationwide outreach program by SafeAirbags.com.
“It is vitally important for consumers to pay attention to any notifications they receive and to schedule an appointment to have their airbags repaired for FREE. This literally could be a matter of life and death.”
The call to action is simple.
• If consumers receive a Takata airbag recall notice, letter, postcard or e-mail, they should immediately schedule a free recall repair at a local dealership.
• Consumers uncertain whether their vehicles are part of the Takata airbag recall should visit www.SafeAirbags.com. They will be prompted to enter the vehicle identification number (VIN), upload a photo of the license plate, or manually enter the plate number. The website will immediately indicate if the vehicle is currently under recall for defective Takata airbags.
• A free smartphone app, Airbag Recall, can also be downloaded, enabling consumers to take a picture of their license plate to immediately determine if a vehicle is under recall.
It takes just a few minutes to determine if a vehicle has a recalled airbag and just a few hours to have an airbag repaired. Take the time to protect yourself, your family and your friends.