Toyota wrote Autoblog to ask if we could spread the word about the Takata airbag inflator recall. Defective inflators remain installed in tens of millions of cars made by 19 carmakers, with manufacture dates that go back to the year 2000. Each inflator compounds the risk of serious injury or death in an airbag-activating crash. With a new ad campaign called “in about an hour,” Toyota wants to make sure that unaware owners, or overly busy owners, know they can get their Toyota, Lexus, and Scion vehicles repaired free of charge in about the time it takes to do a load of laundry.
The campaign focuses on cities in three so-called Zone A states where hot, humid climates worsen the threat of the ruptured inflators: Los Angeles, Dallas, and Miami. However, every owner everywhere who cares about his life, or his child’s life, should at least check to see if his car is affected. All it takes is a quick VIN entry at the dedicated recall site at Toyota.com/Recall. The results will let you know if your car is affected and, if so, locate a local dealer for the free fix.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said the Takata affair has become “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history.” The numbers so far suggest the recall covers more than 42 million vehicles and more than 60 million airbags. Autoweek keeps an updated list of Takata information, including every make and model on the recall list. Consumer Reports published a list of frequently asked questions covering issues directly related and tangential to the recall. The 19 automakers maintain pages dedicated to the issue; Fiat Chrysler lists every relevant model and how it prioritizes repairs by Zone, Honda says it offers a free rental car while owner cars are repaired, Daimler vans says its fix only takes about an hour. And of course NHTSA serves all owners with its own VIN lookup site. We encourage you to check your vehicle — the life you save could be your own.