Thirteen automakers have announced recalls of vehicles that have Takata airbags. This move comes after several incidents involving these dangerous airbags, which can explode with too much energy and blow apart a metal canister.

The automakers are recalling more than 652,000 vehicles just in the U.S territory. Among the companies are Mazda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and McLaren. Sixteen people have died worldwide because of these airbags, and several people have been injured. This could be the largest automobile recall in the United States.

Dealerships still waiting for replacements to dangerous airbags made by Takata. Image Credit: Consumer Affairs

These recalls have affected 42 million vehicles

Takata Corporation is a Japanese company that focuses on automobile parts. Though it is present in four continents and it has become very successful, it has been involved in a series of incidents with the airbags they make.

Since 2013, deaths and injuries have been associated with the defective airbags, leading Takata to recall 3.6 million cars equipped with them. The Takata inflators can explode, blowing apart a metal canister and sending pieces of metal directly to the passenger compartment.

Due to that, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ordered a national-wide recall of more than 42 million cars and 69 million inflators, which is the largest automobile recall in the history of the U.S. This recall includes thirteen automakers who integrated Takata front passenger inflators in their vehicle.

The list was published on Thursday, and it includes Audi, Nissan, Jaguar-Land Rover, Subaru, Daimler Vans, Tesla, Mitsubishi, BMW, Ferrari, Mercedes, Mazda, McLaren, and Karma. About 652000 cars have already been recalled in the latest round of Takata inflator recalls.

Car owners who don’t know whether their cars have the Takata airbag or not can check if their models are involved in the National Highway Traffic Administration website.

If your vehicle has the Takata airbags, you should prevent people from seating in the passenger’s seat. If the airbag is also on the driver’s side, people should minimize the driving, carpool with someone whose vehicle is not affected by the recall, take the public transport or rent a car until the problem is solved.

More than 100 injuries linked to Takata Airbags

16 death and more than 100 injuries have been linked to Takata airbags. In some cases, the accidents were terrible, with metal shards penetrating the driver’s face.

As of June 2015, the Japanese company stated that it was aware of 88 incidents in total: 67 on the driver’s side and 21 on the passenger’s side, but it said that there were very few compared to the 1.2 million airbags deployments over 15 years.

Though these airbags may not be as safe as they should, incidents caused by airbags are relatively rare. According to the Department of Transportation, about 37000 lives have been saved by frontal air bags between 1987 and 2012.

However, after the statements provided by Takata and the NHTSA, automakers are responding to safety risks, recalling the vehicles with these airbags. They are prioritizing the high-humidity and high-temperature areas at the moment.

The NHTSA organized the American states and territories into the following three zones:

Zone A includes Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan), and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Zone B includes Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Zone C includes Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Source: CNBC