Urgent Air Bag Warning: Updated List of Cars That Should Be Fixed - NBC4 Washington

Susan Hogan and the Consumer Watch team covering your consumer concerns

Urgent Air Bag Warning: Updated List of Cars That Should Be Fixed

The air bags, especially in areas along the coast with high absolute humidity, have inflators that can rupture

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    NEWSLETTERS

    News4's Erika Gonzalez has the latest on the massive air bag recall. (Published Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014)

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued an urgent plea to a total of 7.8 million car owners in the U.S. whose air bag inflators have been recalled to get them repaired. The air bags, especially in areas along the coast with high absolute humidity, have inflators that can rupture. If the air bags go off in a crash, that can send shrapnel into the passenger compartment and injure people.

    The NHTSA said that its warning was especially urgent for owners affected by recalls in these areas: Florida, Puerto Rico, limited areas near the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana, as well as Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii.

    The NHTSA first said 4.7 million cars were affected, but has since raised the number and issued corrections to its list.

    "The numbers cited for potentially affected vehicles below are subject to change and adjustment because there may be cases of vehicles being counted more than once," the agency said on its website. "Owners should check their VIN periodically as manufacturers continue to add VINs to the database. Once owner recall notices are available, owners can retrieve a copy from SaferCar.gov, or will receive one by U.S. mail and are advised to carefully follow the enclosed instructions."

    Car owners can look up their cars by VIN here or call the NHTSA’s Safety Hotline: 1-888-327-4236.

    Car companies, meanwhile, have begun to issue statements in response to the recall. Click here to read what they have said so far.

    Below is an updated list of cars subject to the recall as of Oct. 22, 2014:

    BMW: 627,615 total number of potentially affected vehicles
    2000 – 2005 3 Series Sedan
    2000 – 2006 3 Series Coupe
    2000 – 2005 3 Series Sports Wagon
    2000 – 2006 3 Series Convertible
    2001 – 2006 M3 Coupe
    2001 – 2006 M3 Convertible

    Chrysler: 371,309 total number of potentially affected vehicles
    2003 – 2008 Dodge Ram 1500
    2005 – 2008 Dodge Ram 2500
    2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 3500
    2006 – 2008 Dodge Ram 4500
    2008 – Dodge Ram 5500
    2005 – 2008 Dodge Durango
    2005 – 2008 Dodge Dakota
    2005 – 2008 Chrysler 300
    2007 – 2008 Chrysler Aspen

    Ford: 58,669 total number of potentially affected vehicles
    2004 – Ranger
    2005 – 2006 GT
    2005 – 2007 Mustang

    General Motors: undetermined total number of potentially affected vehicles
    2003 – 2005 Pontiac Vibe
    2005 – Saab 9-2X

    Honda: 5,051,364 total number of potentially affected vehicles
    2001 – 2007 Honda Accord)
    2001 – 2002 Honda Accord
    2001 – 2005 Honda Civic
    2002 – 2006 Honda CR-V
    2003 – 2011 Honda Element
    2002 – 2004 Honda Odyssey
    2003 – 2007 Honda Pilot
    2006 – Honda Ridgeline
    2003 – 2006 Acura MDX
    2002 – 2003 Acura TL/CL
    2005 – Acura RL

    Mazda: 64,872 total number of potentially affected vehicles
    2003 – 2007 Mazda6
    2006 – 2007 MazdaSpeed6
    2004 – 2008 Mazda RX-8
    2004 – 2005 MPV
    2004 – B-Series Truck

    Mitsubishi: 11,985 total number of potentially affected vehicles
    2004 – 2005 Lancer
    2006 – 2007 Raider

    Nissan: 694,626 total number of potentially affected vehicles
    2001 – 2003 Nissan Maxima
    2001 – 2004 Nissan Pathfinder
    2002 – 2004 Nissan Sentra
    2001 – 2004 Infiniti I30/I35
    2002 – 2003 Infiniti QX4
    2003 – 2005 Infiniti FX35/FX45

    Subaru: 17,516 total number of potentially affected vehicles
    2003 – 2005 Baja
    2003 – 2005 Legacy
    2003 – 2005 Outback
    2004 – 2005 Impreza

    Toyota: 877,000 total number of potentially affected vehicles
    2002 – 2005 Lexus SC
    2002 – 2005 Toyota Corolla
    2003 – 2005 Toyota Corolla Matrix
    2002 – 2005 Toyota Sequoia
    2003 – 2005 Toyota Tundra  

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    Here are responses from the car companies involved in the air bag recall. Responses have not yet been received from Honda, Ford and Subaru.

    Toyota:
    “In cases where the airbag inflator part is not available, Toyota dealers will disable the passenger side airbag, place a warning label on the dashboard and advise owners not to drive with the front passenger seat occupied. NHTSA has approved disabling the airbags as an interim measure. If it is not possible to disable the airbag, or it isn’t practical for the customer, dealers will provide transportation alternatives on a case-by-case basis. Please keep in mind that this recall was announced late last year and early this year, so Toyota customers have already received notices. Because data from the airbag manufacturer has identified a geographic pattern, our action on Tuesday was to re-emphasize to owners in areas with consistently high absolute (not relative) humidity, to bring their cars to dealers immediately. This would include southern Florida, parts of the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, US Virgin Islands and Guam. Southern California does not experience consistently high absolute humidity. For Toyota, this component is only used on the passenger side which can be vacated if necessary. For other makes it is used for the driver airbag which is always occupied when driving. For Toyota, this recall applies to vehicles that are 10-12 years old, and only to certain models and VIN numbers. Viewers who need information can go to the owners section of www.Toyota.com to enter their VIN number and determine if their vehicle is subject to the recall.”

    GM:
    “We are customizing Toyota’s customer letters and will send overnight letters to certain owners of 2003-2005 Pontiac Vibes in the high humidity areas that NHTSA has identified as being susceptible to the defective Takata air bag inflators. This includes 9,940 Vibes, but we are still working the numbers based on additional areas that Toyota identified in its expanded recall on Monday. Separately, NHTSA has corrected its advisory from Monday to show only the Vibes built in the former GM-Toyota joint venture and Saab 9-2X models built by Subaru for Saab are GM vehicles with Takata air bags. The original NHTSA advisory incorrectly listed a group of 2002-2003 GM models that were part of a 2002 recall involving air bags made by other suppliers.
    So far, very few Vibe owners (About 6,000 of 85,000 notified earlier this year) have come in to have the passenger air bag inflator replaced. We send post card reminders to these customers every three months until the recall is completed. We have a sufficient supply of replacement air bag inflators to cover Pontiac Vibe owners in the humid areas that are the focus of NHTSA and Takata. We are following Toyota’s approach to customers since the Vibe is a subset of Toyota’s recall expansion.”

    BMW:
    “BMW has notified owners of affected vehicles about the recall. As part of that notification, we indicated that we would contact them again when we were able to schedule their car for the replacement. We have begun that process, but having sufficient parts for all 574,000 affected cars will take some time. There has not been any out-of-specification deployments of airbags in any affected vehicle either on the road or in testing, therefore we believe that the risk is extremely low. If, however, a customer has concerns, we would suggest that they not carry passengers in the front passenger seat until the repair is made, which would eliminate any potential risk.”

    Chrysler:
    “Customers in the DC/MD/VA region are NOT affected by this regional field action. All customers who are affected will be notified, and Chrysler will launch an online search engine where you can check to see if your vehicle was affected as soon as possible.”

    Nissan:
    “Currently, we are not experiencing any significant parts shortages for the Takata passenger side air bag recalls initially announced this summer. Since Nissan and Infiniti to this point have been able to schedule customers for recall-related work quickly, we have not made any recommendations other than echoing NHTSA’s request to bring affected vehicles in promptly and have the work done at no cost to the owners. Nissan owners can check their vehicle identification number (VIN) at http://www.nissanusa.com/recalls-vin#/ to see all applicable recall actions that apply to their Nissan. Infiniti owners can check their VINs at http://www.infinitiusa.com/recalls-vin#/ to see all applicable recall actions that apply to their Infiniti.

    Mazda:
    “Safety is a top priority for Mazda. We mailed out customer notifications regarding a recall of certain Mazda vehicles in areas identified by the NHTSA as ‘high humidity areas’ on October 17, 2014. Vehicles involved in the recall are Mazda6, MAZDASPEED6, RX-8, and MPV. Mazda has sufficient inflator parts to support these recalled vehicles in the NHTSA-defined humidity regions, and encourages customers to take their vehicles to a Mazda dealer as soon as possible for inspection and part replacement. Mazda will make every effort to minimize customers’ inconvenience during the time of the repair.”

    Mitsubishi:
    "The notification that you received affects certain 2004-2005 Lancer vehicles that are currently registered or originally sold in Hawaii, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Continued exposure to high levels of humidity may cause the passenger air bag inflator housing to rupture if the vehicle is involved in a crash where the front passenger air bag is designed to deploy. If this occurs, it may increase the risk of injury to the front seat occupants. Please contact your local Authorized Mitsubishi Motors dealer and schedule an appointment to have the front passenger air bag inflator replaced free of charge. Since this is an occupant safety concern, we recommend that you do not have anyone ride in the front passenger seat until the front passenger air bag inflator has been replaced. If you experience any problem having your vehicle repaired promptly and/or at no charge, please call us so we can be of further assistance."