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How to check if your car is part of the Takata airbag recall

(MEDIA GENERAL) – It’s now the biggest automotive recall in U.S. history. Some Takata air bags can inflate with too much force, exploding and sending out shrapnel. The company is recalling 33.8 million air bag inflator mechanisms.

The defective air bags have been blamed for more than 100 injuries, and six deaths.

The recall applies to inflators used in both driver and passenger-side airbags, and affects vehicles produced by most major companies in the United States: BMW, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota. 

To figure out if your car is impacted there a few steps you can take.

  1. Find your car’s VIN number – This number can be found in several places in many cars. It is almost always under the front windshield on the driver’s side. It can also often be found on the driver’s side door. (See above)
  2. Go to safercar.gov and insert your VIN number. As of Wednesday, this site has been delivering a failure message (a possible reason is due to overwhelming volume) and encouraging drivers to check with specific car manufacturers for recall information. 
  3. If safercar.gov doesn’t get you the information you’re looking for, click on your car’s manufacturer. You will once again be asked to input your VIN number. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s site to see that their recall information is up-to-date. You may need to check in a few days if Tuesday’s recall is not yet inputted.

Now, you will likely have to wait. Many manufacturers have backlogs to fix the air bag recall. Toyota, for example, tells its drivers that it will mail you a letter when parts are available.

If you don’t want to be caught off-guard in the future, you can sign up for recall alerts from safercar.gov based on your specific vehicle.

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