Consumer Reports: Many recalled Takata airbags still not replaced

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Consumer Reports: Many recalled Takata air bags still not replaced - Nydia Han reports during Action News at 4:30pm on April 4, 2018. (WPVI)

The Takata airbag recall is the biggest auto recall in history but only about half of the dangerous and defective airbags have been replaced. The airbags have defective inflators, which can turn the very device designed to protect people into a miniature shrapnel bomb.

Nearly 50 million Takata airbags have been recalled and 20 million more are being added to the list. They were installed in cars, trucks and SUV's from 19 different automakers and the time to take care of the problem is right now.

What is now the biggest auto recall in US history, actually began back in 2008 and it's not even close to over.

Faulty inflators in Takata airbags have led to 15 deaths and hundreds of injuries in the US alone and more than 26 million potentially deadly airbags still need to be replaced.

David Friedman was acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when the recall went nationwide. He is now the director of cars and product policy for Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports.

"Manufacturers need to do more to help people understand how deadly these airbags are, but at the end of the day it's your responsibility to get your car fixed right away if it's got one of these defective Takata airbags," he warns.

Jen Stockburger, director of operations at Consumer Reports Auto Test Center, says finding out if your vehicle is involved in the recall is simple, but keep in mind that the list of recalled cars is growing. So even if you've checked before, it's important to check again to see if your vehicle has been added to the list.

Ford and Mazda have both now issued warnings to stop driving their 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B series pick-up trucks. Have those vehicles towed to the dealership to replace the airbags.

"Look for your your VIN number on the lower left hand side of your windshield, or on your door jamb - and plug it into NHTSA's website and it'll let you know if your vehicle is on the list," she said.

Then contact the dealer to arrange a free replacement as soon as possible.

Also, be aware the airbags in certain Honda and Acura models, from 2001, 2002 and 2003 also show a far higher risk of exploding in a crash.

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