BUFFALO, N.Y. – The 33.8 million vehicles recalled by Japan’s Takata Corporation is the largest recall in automotive history. The recall is also creating mass confusion among U.S. consumers wondering if their vehicle is part of the recall or if their family is at risk of being victimized by defective air bags.
So many people were trying to log into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s sister website, SaferCar.gov that the site crashed on occasion this week.
“These air bags were installed in more than 50 different vehicle models that could be driving around Buffalo,” car accident attorney Ross Cellino said. “These can pose serious safety hazards to anyone who drives or rides in these vehicles.”
Buffalo car accident attorneys say Takata’s recall was issued when it was discovered that some airbags may spray shrapnel when they inflate and the faulty safety devices have been liked to at least six deaths.
“There are several ways to find out if your car is part of this increasingly large recall and if you or a family member has been in a recent accident, it’s important to know if that vehicle was part of this recall as well,” Cellino said.
-FINDING IF YOUR VEHICLE IS LISTED IN THIS RECALL:
The recalls are posted at SaferCar.gov, in which you type in a Vehicle Identification Number and the site will tell you if your vehicle is part of this specific recall, or others. NHTSA reported receiving over 600,000 requests this week, so consumers may need to be patient.
-ODDS ARE LOW:
Although there is a real danger of being injured by exploding airbags, the odds of suffering an injury associated with this recall is low. Of the 33.8 million vehicles recalled, six people have died worldwide and another 100 have suffered injuries. That equates to a .00031% chance of getting hurt.
-WHAT MODELS ARE INCLUDED?
The Takata airbag recalls began in 2008 when Honda recalled 4,000 Accords and Civics (2001 models). The recalls have obviously expanded, now to include almost every automaker, but it has taken seven years to do so. It is unclear exactly how many models will be included in the company’s final recall, or when that may occur.
-KEEP REPAIR TIME IN MIND
One in seven vehicles are part of this massive recall. Dealerships and auto shops charged with fixing these vehicles may be overwhelmed with the number of repairs and lengthy wait times should be expected but it is important to get your vehicle fixed as soon as possible to prevent serious injuries.
-HOW DO I PAY FOR THE REPAIR?
Buffalo car accident attorneys said in most recall situations, consumers do not pay for the repairs to their vehicles.
“If your vehicle is part of this recall, it’s important to know you shouldn’t pay a dime for someone else’s mistake,” Cellino said. “Recall repairs are free at dealerships, the question now is how much will the airbag manufacturer be ordered to pay?”
There may be other financial consequences as a result of this massive safety recall. For example, vehicle value may drop and there are questions of liability in case of an accident; does responsibility fall on Takata, the automaker, or both?
The latest recall could be just the beginning of an ongoing legal drama in U.S. courts.