We have entered year 10 of the massive Takata airbag recall. It is hardly an anniversary worth celebrating, but it is another jaw-dropping milestone for the most complex recall in our industry. And, it is far from over. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns that the number of affected vehicles will expand dramatically, growing from the 37 million vehicles to as many as 70 million by December 2019. Models dating as far back as 2000 and as current as 2016 are involved across nearly every major automaker. Yet, despite all the publicity surrounding many deaths caused by the faulty airbags and recall information readily available to owners, only an estimated 12 percent of the recalled vehicles have been repaired.
It is a stunning statistic considering the potential deadly consequences. To date, the faulty airbag propellant canisters have caused more than 20 deaths and the NHTSA recently warned that it is extremely important that all high-risk airbags be tracked down and replaced immediately.
Owners may ignore recalls because they assume their vehicle is not involved or they don’t feel they have the time to deal with taking their car in for the repair. It’s a pain for individuals. For fleet owners, it seems like a nightmare. At Merchants Fleet Management, we monitor recalls and support teams reach out to clients to let them know when they are affected. We also provide guidance for making the service process as painless as possible because, while recall repairs are free, vehicle downtime is costly.
What To Know About Takata Recalls & Repairs
- Which Vehicles: 19 automakers, 40 million models and counting. The recall section of the NHTSA website is a wealth of information. You can look up affected makes and models for Takata and enter VIN numbers to see if those vehicles have been recalled and if they have been have been repaired.
- Repair Time: The repair only takes 60 to 90 minutes and dealers have the parts, so drivers should take vehicles to dealership service departments rather than risk going to a shop that may have to order parts.
- Lessen The Inconvenience: Ask for loaners. Some dealers have them and/or complimentary shuttles to get employees back to the office.
- Include Routine Maintenance: If a vehicle has to go in anyway, optimize the downtime by also taking care of necessary routine maintenance such as oil changes and tire rotations.
The importance of addressing this recall can’t be emphasized enough. Merchants Fleet Management is here to help. Please contact us (877) 870-4999 or [email protected] with any recall questions or concerns.