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Airbag Defect, Deaths Lead to Recall Involving 4.7M Cars

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. | Last updated on

An airbag defect that's blamed for at least four deaths has led the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a recall notice for more than 4.7 million vehicles.

The NHTSA is warning drivers of cars subject to the recall to bring them to dealerships immediately. The latest recall brings the total number of cars recalled because of the airbag issue to 12 million worldwide, reports The Washington Post.

What's the defect in these airbags, and which vehicles are subject to this latest recall?

Metal Fragments May Cause Injury, Death

The airbags subject to the recall are made by Japan's Takata Corporation. According to CBS News, problems with the airbags' inflator mechanisms have been reported since 2004. The inflators can potentially explode, sending metal fragments flying into a vehicle's passenger compartment causing serious or, in some cases, fatal injuries.

You can see pictures of one woman's injuries in this report by CBS News:

A 2013 recall for vehicles with defective airbags was followed by more recalls earlier this year. In addition, NHTSA issued a "regional recall" for vehicles in high-humidity states such as Florida and Hawaii, as the airbag problem was believed to be related to humidity. The most recent recall, however, includes vehicles nationwide.

Toyota, Honda, BMW, GM Models Included

The vehicles subject to the most recent Takata airbags recall include both domestic and import vehicles. Among the vehicles affected by the recall are:

  • More than 778,000 Toyota vehicles including the Lexus SC and Toyota Tundra pickups;
  • More than 2.8 million Honda vehicles including the Civic, Accord, CR-V, and Acura MDX;
  • More than 430,000 Nissan vehicles including the Maxima and Infiniti QX4;
  • More than 18,000 Mazda vehicles including the Mazda6 and RX-8;
  • More than 570,000 BMW vehicles including 3-series sedans, coupes, and wagons as well as M3 convertibles and coupes; and
  • More than 133,000 General Motors vehicles including Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac models.

To determine whether your vehicle is included in this recall or any other recall, you can search by VIN number using the NHTSA's new online recall search tool.

As The New York Times reported earlier this year, Takata has agreed to undisclosed settlements in several death and injury claims linked to exploding airbags. If you or a loved one have been hurt by a defective airbag, an experienced motor vehicle defects lawyer can help you figure out the best way to proceed.

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