Despite the record number of recalls this year, most cars are not recalled, and most car owners don’t pay all that much attention to recalls.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants that to change.
Like people who ignore a doctor’s advice to get a flu shot, many drivers don’t bring their cars all that quickly in for repairs. My mother had a car that was recalled years ago, and the very next day I had an accident with the car, when the brakes failed in the very same way that was predicted under the recall.
In June, about 3 million cars using Takata airbags were recalled, with the number of recalled cars quickly growing to 4.7 million.
But even that number keeps growing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration now says that up to 7.8 million vehicles could need airbag repairs – with cars from Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors using the defective airbags.
Even for the smaller number announced months ago, not everyone has brought in their car for repairs – but the rub here is that not everyone can. Car dealers don’t have enough replacements.
What should you do? First, check the NHTSA website to see if your car is on the recall list. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration urges drivers in high humidity states like Hawaii and Florida to get repairs immediately. Then, if no repair is available, have the front passenger airbag disabled and don’t let anyone sit there.