Early January, numerous vehicles were added to a multi-year Takata air bag recall. Ford Motor Co. added 953,000 vehicles worldwide to the recall, while Toyota Motor Corp added another 1.7 million vehicles, according to Reuters. Before these vehicles were added, 37 million vehicles had already been recalled since 2016. Ford and Toyota are only two of the 19 automakers with vehicles affected by the defective product.

How is the product defective?

Vehicles with potentially faulty Takata air bags are being recalled because of a problem discovered with the air bag inflators. If a defective air bag must deploy in a crash, the problem can cause the air bag to explode, sending pieces of metal toward the driver and others in the vehicle, causing serious injuries or death. These faulty air bags contributed to at least 23 deaths worldwide and more than 290 injuries.

Why is the recall taking so long?

Because so many vehicles were built with potentially faulty Takata air bags, the recall was designed to occur in phases over several years. Old vehicles registered hot, humid climates were prioritized in the recall because age, heat and humidity can exacerbate the problem.

How will I know if my vehicle is affected?

Recall notices are sent in the mail. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages drivers to check online at least twice a year to see if their vehicles are affected by the recall. Additional vehicles will be added to the recall through 2020 and will not show up as affected until they are added to the recall list.

Affected vehicles should be taken to a dealer right away to be repaired for free. The defective Takata air bags are dangerous products, and those affected by the recall should take the recommended repairs seriously.

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