Potentially deadly Takata airbags force General Motors to recall 7 million vehicles

Media Contacts
Grace Brombach

18 people have died and hundreds have reportedly been injured by these airbags in the U.S.

U.S. PIRG Education Fund

DETROIT — General Motors Corp. (GM) announced today it will recall 7 million of its large pickup trucks and SUVs that contain potentially explosive Takata airbags. Over the past 12 years, tens of millions of vehicles have been recalled by major car manufacturers for this same hazard. These dangerous and potentially deadly airbag inflators are made with ammonium nitrate, which can deteriorate with time, heat and humidity, only to explode and shoot shrapnel upon impact. Tragically, they have killed 18 people and allegedly injured hundreds more in the United States.

This recall from GM — manufacturer of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles — will account for the final group of cars manufactured with Takata airbag inflators. The decision comes after the company submitted four unsuccessful petitions to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seeking to avoid these recalls. 

Vehicle owners can verify whether their car is part of this recall by visiting https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls and entering their seventeen digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

In response, Grace Brombach, U.S. PIRG Education Fund Consumer Watchdog associate, issued the following statement: 

“The GM recall is a huge step in the right direction. Airbags exist to protect drivers, not to do more harm. Vehicle owners shouldn’t have to worry that their car’s airbag could be the thing that kills them during a minor fender bender or a more serious collision. 

Since the first vehicles sold with Takata airbags were recalled in 2008, car owners have had to wonder whether the new or used vehicles they drive every day contain faulty airbags. And the threat has only increased as these airbags deteriorate over time. When a fundamental safety measure in a car could do more harm than good, manufacturers should act as quickly as possible to limit injuries and save lives.”