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Jim Weed

Volume 43 Issue 08

Apr 18, 2018

The Takata air bag has a nasty tendency to erupt with such force as to break the retainer and send shards of metal into the passenger compartment. Is your on the recall list?

    The Takata air bag has a nasty tendency to erupt with such force as to break the retainer and send shards of metal into the passenger compartment.


    If that statement sounds a little scary, it should. Air bag deployment is so quick you don’t have time to even blink. The life-saving quality of an air bag requires fast deployment to arrest the bodies’ forward momentum when the vehicle it is riding in comes to a rapid stop.


    For the scientifically inclined this is known as Newton’s first law of motion. A body in motion tends to stay in motion.


    Many manufacturers used the Takata air bag and I highly recommend you make sure your daily, and even your semi-weekly automobile air bag has been replaced. Ferrari has also used the Takata air bag and they are under recall.


    A recall is issued when a manufacturer or NHTSA determines that a vehicle, equipment, car seat, or tire creates an unreasonable safety risk or fails to meet minimum safety standards. Most decisions to conduct a recall and remedy a safety defect are made voluntarily by manufacturers prior to any involvement by NHTSA.


    Manufacturers are required to fix the problem by repairing it, replacing it, offering a refund, or in rare cases repurchasing the vehicle. (NHTSA website)


    There are a few things you should know about recalls in general. Because the recall has made it up the chain to the Federal Government level and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is involved, recalls must be performed.


    Let’s say 100 (or 100,000) vehicles have been determined to need a recall. The government and the manufacturer have identified the exact vehicles that need to be updated. Serial numbers are exchanged and the search for those specific vehicles begins.


    The manufacturer sends notices to the original owners to request a no-cost repair. If the owner still has the car and takes it to a dealer, any dealer, it will be repaired at no charge.


    If the car has been sold, the original owner rarely tracks down the next owner to notify him of the defect. So many vehicles fall through the cracks.


    Unfortunately the manufacturer may not know who subsequent owners are and those cars become difficult to find. Meanwhile the NHTSA still wants every vehicle repaired. Not most of them, but each and every one.


    Federal recall campaigns never end. Only upon the verification of every vehicle being fixed can a recall be retired. The manufacturer is required to provide a cost-free repair for at least ten years. Often they will repair at no-charge for longer.


    All recalls are important and should be performed. Whether it is an air bag or other component, take the time and check with a dealer to verify your Ferrari is up to date. Not all recalls can injure or maim you or those dear to you, but why take the chance?


    Be safe out there.

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