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Deployed airbag in vehicle after crash

The largest auto recall in U.S. history continues to grow. On Friday, May 27, Takata expanded its airbag recall in the U.S. to include more than 12 million vehicles manufactured by eight major automakers: Honda, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Ferrari, and Mitsubishi.

With more than 4.5 million inflators, Honda had the biggest recall total, while Fiat Chrysler reported 4.3 million. Drivers aren’t the only ones impacted though; Honda’s total includes around 2,700 Gold Wing motorcycles with optional front air bags.

This new recall is primarily focused on passenger-side airbag inflators in older model vehicles in areas along the Gulf Coast of the U.S., but other areas of the U.S. are also affected.

Takata’s air bags use a chemical substance to create a reaction that inflates the airbag in the event of an accident or crash. When exposed to high heat and humidity (as is common along the Gulf Coast) the chemical burns faster than designed, causing airbags to rupture with too much force and send hot shrapnel flying into the vehicle’s occupant(s), according to Consumer Reports.

Since recalled models vary by state and age, it’s best to double-check the status of your vehicle at safercar.gov. Simply type in your vehicle identification number (VIN). You can locate your VIN number on the driver’s side of the dashboard near the windshield, or on your state vehicle registration.

If a safety recall has been issued for your vehicle, the vehicle manufacturer will contact you with instructions for having your vehicle repaired free of charge. If you have any questions, you can contact your vehicle manufacturer directly or call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-888-327-4236.

At Direct Auto Insurance, we’re committed to highway safety and helping our customers stay safe while they’re out on the road. Even if you don’t think your vehicle has been affected by the Takata airbag recall, we strongly encourage you to enter your VIN at safercar.gov to double-check. According to CarFax, more than 47 million vehicles have at least one open safety recall. That’s about one in five vehicles out on the road today! Is your vehicle one of them?