Newspaper article International New York Times

Recall Confusion: What American Drivers Should Do

Newspaper article International New York Times

Recall Confusion: What American Drivers Should Do

Article excerpt

A recall, the largest in automotive history, has turned out to be messy, confusing and frustrating for car owners.

Q. What's happened?

A.Defective airbags made by Takata have been tied to at least 14 deaths and more than 100 injuries. The ensuing recall -- the largest in automotive history -- has turned out to be messy, confusing and frustrating for car owners.

Q. Why a recall?

A.Inflaters in about 64 million Takata airbags contain a defect that may cause them to explode and send metal fragments into cars.

The defect lies in how the airbags are meant to inflate. They use a compound called ammonium nitrate that helps the bag go from its very compact form inside your steering wheel or door panel to something big enough to protect you in a collision. The compound can break down when your car is exposed to moisture or temperature swings over time, leading to a risk of explosion.

Q. Are all Takata airbags recalled?

A.No.

The recalled airbags are those that have ammonium-nitrate inflaters without a chemical drying agent to counteract the moisture problem.

But the United States government has said that even those models that contain the drying agent could potentially be recalled in the future if the moisture issue is still causing ruptures.

Q. Which automakers are affected?

A.The Takata airbag recall involves the following manufacturers:

- BMW

- Chrysler

- General Motors

- Ferrari

- Ford

- Honda

- Jaguar/Land Rover

- Mazda

- Mercedes-Benz

- Mitsubishi

- Nissan

- Subaru

- Toyota

- Volkswagen

Q. Which models are most at risk?

A.United States regulators are urging drivers of the older recalled Honda or Acura models listed below to stop driving their vehicles and have them fixed immediately because they are most at risk of rupturing during airbag deployment.

They are:

- 2001-2 Honda Civic

- 2001-2 Honda Accord

- 2002-3 Acura TL

- 2002 Honda CR-V

- 2002 Honda Odyssey

- 2003 Acura CL

- 2003 Honda Pilot

Q. …

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