Automotive

Published on December 14th, 2016 | by Guest Contributor

Takata Airbag Recalls – What You Need to Know.

CAA South Central Ontario would like to update its Members on the latest developments regarding the Takata airbag recall. We’ve also prepared this page to provide guidance to Members whose vehicles are being recalled.

Here’s what we know so far:

  • As of October 2016, 4.3 million vehicles are subject to a recall in Canada due to a potentially faulty airbag produced by Japanese firm Takata.
  • The culprit is the propellant used to deploy the bags – ammonium nitrate. After several years of investigation, it has been determined that prolonged exposure to humidity and high temperatures makes ammonium nitrate less stable, which can result in airbags that deploy with too much force. To fix the issue, Takata is producing new airbags that include a drying agent.
  • The good news is that, so far, Transport Canada reports no complaints or incidents involving Takata airbags. While some areas of the country can experience high levels of humidity, the overall cooler climate greatly reduces the risk of an airbag failure. As per a recent Globe and Mail article, the risk to Canadians is deemed to be “extremely low.”
  • Depending on the vehicle, replacement parts may or may not be readily available. Given the sheer scale of the recall and the fact that airbags tend to be specific to each car model, producing new parts for every single affected vehicle is going to take some time. Also, replacement bags are first being sent to areas that experience high humidity and high temperatures for most of the year, like southern US states. Northern US states and Canada will have to wait a bit longer before getting the new parts.

What You Can Do in the Meantime.

Your dealer or manufacturer will communicate with you to guide you through the recall process, so no action is required on your part at this stage. That said, feel free to reach out to your dealer or manufacturer with any concern you may have.  And when you do receive your recall notice,

Finally, should you feel the urge to deactivate your recalled airbags while waiting on replacement parts: don’t. While airbags aren’t mandated by Canadian law – only the US has such a requirement – the risk of injury is much greater if you’re driving with your seatbelt on in a car that has no active airbag. Also, deactivation requires a special permission that is rarely granted by Transport Canada.

To learn more about what you should do if your vehicle is being recalled, click here.

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