KIRO NEWSRADIO

Your car’s airbag might be a recall from over 10 years ago

May 29, 2024, 5:56 PM | Updated: 5:58 pm

Photo: An airbag recall from 14 years ago could haunt you. KIRO Newsradio spoke with CarFax about w...

An airbag recall from 14 years ago could haunt you. KIRO Newsradio spoke with CarFax about what to do if your car is on the list. (File photo: Charles Krupa, AP)

(File photo: Charles Krupa, AP)

An airbag recall from 14 years ago could haunt you if you didn’t get it swapped out.

CarFax’s Patrick Olsen told KIRO Newsradio over six million cars in the United States still have the Takata Airbag installed.

“There are 133,000 in Washington State and more than 76,000 in the Seattle Tacoma area,” he said.

More from Micki Gamez: Another Kia software upgrade is happening in Bellevue

Olsen told us the Takata airbag killed 27 people in the U.S. and almost 400 people have been injured.

“That is an incredible number,” he said.  “And frankly, we were alarmed to see it (the recall) was still quite so high. We figured after 10 years, we check in and see what kind of progress has been made.”

Olsen said even though the number of people who’ve been hurt or killed is low, the risk keeps growing.

“The longer these airbags stay in the car, now we’re talking about their second, third, fourth owner. So it can be difficult to track those owners down,” he said.

What’s the issue with recalled airbags?

Olsen said the danger is cumulative.

“The issue is now for some of these cars, these airbags have been in there for 20 years, getting moisture into those chemicals getting heat and humidity applied to it,” he said. “A lot of cars in Seattle now may have come from other states and been driven down in Arizona or California before they came up to Seattle and were exposed to a lot more heat or a lot more humidity.”

He told KIRO Newsradio the heat isn’t going to set the airbag off.

“It’s if you ever get involved a crash. And I know some people will say, ‘Hey, I’m an excellent driver, I will never be in a crash.’ But that doesn’t stop the guy from running into you, you know, on an accident,” he said

What to do if you have a recalled airbag 

Olsen said to call your car dealer and find out if they have a replacement airbag.

More on recalls: What you should do when you own a product that has been recalled

“Now automakers have stocked up … dealers should be stocked up, make an appointment, it’ll take one to two hours to fix, but it will cost you nothing. And the peace of mind you get from it is incalculable,” he said.

Olsen added that people can go to Carfax’s website, put in their vehicle identification number or license plate information and it will tell them for free if their car is an open recall. He also said car owners can check with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, put in their vehicle identification number, and it will tell them the same thing.

You can read more of Micki Gamez’s stories here. Follow Micki on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her here.

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Your car’s airbag might be a recall from over 10 years ago