On October 22, 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued warnings about potentially dangerous airbags in 7.8 million vehicles covering a range of models, including BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota. The airbags at issue were designed and manufactured by Takata Corp. a Japanese parts supplier. The issue appears to be that gasses in the airbag, which normally cause it to quickly inflate, may be altered in humid conditions and lead to an airbag explosion sending metal shrapnel into the passenger. At least four people have been killed due to the defective airbags. This is anticipated to be the largest automotive recall in history.
Parts suppliers have consolidated in recent years to compete in an auto-industry with narrow margins so that there are only a few major suppliers of car parts left. Three global airbag manufacturers control over 30 percent of the international market. When a part, such as an airbag, is manufactured with a defect it will tend to effect many vehicle models throughout the industry. Takata Corp. is the second largest supplier of vehicle airbags, which is why the warnings and recalls in this case are so widespread. GM and Toyota have told customers of recalled vehicles not to sit in the front passenger seat until the airbags have been replaced.
You can check to see if your vehicle is subject to Takata airbag recalls by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website: http://www.safercar.gov/Vehicle+Owners/VIN-lookup-msg
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident and feel that your airbag may have contributed to the severity of the injuries make sure that you contact an experienced personal injury attorney immediately.