Takata Airbag Recall: Consumers, You're On Your Own If Buying a Used Car

The massive recall of airbags manufactured by Takata, a Japanese automotive parts supplier, covers 34 million autos, nearly one out of every seven cars on U.S. roadways.
In some accidents, the airbag deployed has sent metal shards sailing into the cabin — a major defect causing several serious injuries and deaths. If you have been injured by a faulty airbag then you deserve compensation for your injuries. Take a look at the Cain Law Office to see if you should make a claim. The issue was eventually traced to a defective airbag inflator used in millions of vehicles from several different automakers.

At the moment, vehicles from 15 different brands are affected — including Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Honda, Toyota, Saab and Lexus. Honda is especially affected, as it appears that millions of its vehicles might be using the faulty airbag inflator. Model years affected by the recall mostly range from 2000 to 2011, for now.
Consumers can see if their car is included in the recall by visiting a special website created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
But what about if you’re shopping for a used car? Chances are the vehicle could fall into the recalled list. But federal laws do not require used-car dealers to repair vehicles with safety defects before reselling them to costumers. And with the expanded Takata recall so fresh, most used car dealers won’t have the chance to voluntarily check for recalled airbags.
Dealers are not required by law to disclose to customers that a vehicle is the subject of a recall. Legislation to address the issue has failed to win broad support in Congress.
How Do I Fix the Airbag Problem?
So used auto consumers are left on their own to check whether a used vehicle has been recalled for a safety defect. They can do so by checking their vehicle identification numbers (VIN) through the federal safety database or on an automobile manufacturer’s website, or by purchasing a vehicle history report from a vendor such as Carfax.
And if you’re checking the Safercar.gov site to see if a used vehicle for sale is listed, it may not show up right away. The federal government is still updating the list.
The recall at first was limited to areas of the country with high humidity — including Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and Alabama, along with the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. However, U.S. transportation officials have expanded the recall nationally, which is why the VIN-checkup list is still being updated.
If your car ends up on the recall list, you should call your dealer (for example, if you’re buying a used Honda, take the vehicle to a Honda dealership) right away to ensure that your airbag is fixed promptly. Like all safety recalls, this one should be performed free of charge.

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