Feds Apologize to Consumers for Technical Problems, Inaccuracies in Takata Airbag Recall | Edmunds

Feds Apologize to Consumers for Technical Problems, Inaccuracies in Takata Airbag Recall


For more information on the Takata airbag recall, click here. 10/27/14

Just the Facts:
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday apologized to consumers for the technical problems and inaccuracies related to the Takata airbag recall.
  • "We greatly regret that the information provided in our initial safety advisory was inaccurate and that we have experienced significant problems with our Web site," said David Friedman, NHTSA deputy administrator.
  • NHTSA's specific VIN look-up tool is temporarily unavailable.

WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday apologized for the technical problems and inaccuracies related to the Takata airbag recall.

"We greatly regret that the information provided in our initial safety advisory was inaccurate and that we have experienced significant problems with our Web site," said David Friedman, NHTSA deputy administrator, in a statement provided to media.

NHTSA's specific VIN look-up tool is temporarily unavailable. But consumers can still access individual manufacturers' recall information through the VIN look-up tool.

"At this time, the issue does not appear to be related to Internet traffic to the site or hacking," Friedman said. "The VIN system had been operating properly under high traffic situations. Preliminary indications point to a recent software change that affects how the system interacts with the Internet. The agency is working with our vendors to diagnose and solve the problem."

NHTSA now says 7.8 million vehicles are involved in the Takata airbag recalls. The faulty airbags could deploy with too much force, causing metal parts to break and strike occupants. The situation has great urgency in high-humidity regions, including U.S. states along the Gulf of Mexico.

"NHTSA has taken an aggressive approach to ensuring safety on our highways by forcing the recall of millions of vehicles with defective airbags at the beginning of an investigation that remains open," Friedman said. "We identified the problem and we are ensuring automakers take action in areas where there is a demonstrated risk."

The vehicles were already recalled in 2013 and 2014. The urgent safety advisory follows recent testing on recovered airbags that shows "the risk associated with these airbags in hot, humid climates may be greater than previously identified," Friedman said.

The lists of make and model vehicles by manufacturer in NHTSA's October 20 advisory contained incorrect information. It did not include all of the affected vehicles and incorrectly included certain vehicles.

"The population numbers are subject to change at any time for a number of reasons," NHTSA noted.

Edmunds says: Owners that have been contacted by their auto manufacturer regarding the Takata airbag recall should call their dealer's service department to make an appointment for repairs now.

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