By in Random

Scope of Defective Air Bag Issue Bigger Than It First Appears

When the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , NHTSA, announced the problem with some air bags manufactured by Takata in various years, makes and models of cars on Oct. 22, 2014, it seemed on the surface to be much like any other auto recall.

The air bags in question have resulted in spontaneous deployments of driver air bags, resulting in the confirmed deaths of four individuals to date. The inadvertent deployments of the air bags result from a faulty mechanism in the apparatus, so when the air bags inflate, pieces of metal fragments from the apparatus are sent through the air like pieces of shrapnel.

The U.S. Department of Transportation , DOT, is now investigating the NHTSA over this alert that changes in its scope nearly each day since initial announcement, according to .

In the mean time, what are car owners to do? You can visit the NHTSA site, , to look up your car's Vehicle Identification Number, VIN, to learn if you car is involved in the recall. However, the list changes frequently as more and more makes and models of cars are added to the recall, so checking back frequently is warranted.

One of the most important issues going forward is having enough safe air bags to replace those that are defective. Toyota is now saying they will disable defective air bags if they run out of replacements.

This is a safety issue that warrants car owners to stay vigilant for your safety and that of your passengers.

Resources: " Takata Airbag Recall Questions Prompt DOT Investigation of NHTSA " " Defective air bags raise questions about automakers' ability to handle gigantic recall "

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Image Credit » Pamela Carls CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr

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Ellis wrote on October 26, 2014, 10:17 AM

Sounds like a lot of hot air to

Feisty56 wrote on October 26, 2014, 10:30 AM

Oh are something else. : )

Ellis wrote on October 26, 2014, 10:33 AM

Bloody inflation, eh?

Feisty56 wrote on October 26, 2014, 10:47 AM

Ouch -- now that is a terrible -- and great -- play on words.

SLGarcia wrote on October 26, 2014, 10:56 AM

Good information. I didn't know about checking VIN numbers which is certainly easy enough to do.

Feisty56 wrote on October 26, 2014, 8:26 PM

I think it's good to know whether the car you're driving has a potential air bag issue or not.

Feisty56 wrote on October 26, 2014, 8:28 PM

It's true that there won't be enough air bags to replace all the defective ones for some time, but if other auto manufacturers follow Toyota's lead to de-activate suspected defective air bags, people who own/drive those cars will want to know if that's an option for them.

AliCanary wrote on October 27, 2014, 3:35 PM

This made me sick to hear about, especially that poor young girl who died. I'm glad my vehicles aren't on the list, but it's horrible the way they don't address these things until years later, when a lot of the cars might be hard to track down after being resold.

Feisty56 wrote on October 27, 2014, 7:47 PM

That's why it is important for owners of vehicles that were purchased as "Used" or "Pre-Owned" check the VIN numbers. Notifications supposedly will go out to all original owners, but subsequent owners are out of luck.