Vehicle airbags are something that’s generally taken for granted during your daily drive. After all, how often do you think about a compressed bag that will instantly inflate in your face during a collision? So the chances of you actively thinking about your SRS system are in fact very slim.
Unfortunately, the airbag recall from Takata has just been upgraded to a nationwide recall, forcing many Honda, Nissan, Toyota owners to check their vehicles for the potentially deadly airbag defect.
If you are not familiar with the exploding shrapnel that have already seriously injured many passengers, check out the recall article here. For a good idea on how powerful your car’s airbag can actually be, check out this airbag deploy video from the Slowmo Guys on Youtube.
Everyone has seen parodies of people being seriously injured from airbag explosions while doing stunts and tricks with them, but the slow motion nature of this Youtube video really puts a proper framework around this very explosive and powerful safety device. As a reference to the recall, the Slowmo guys actually use a Honda airbag deploy test to put things in perspective.
The speed and force in which this airbag deploys is terrifying to say the very least. In nothing less than 1/25th of a second the airbag goes from dormant to explosively full. Imagine your own airbag doing this during a collision and it’s scary enough regardless of the recall and the damage faulty air bags can do.
The Takata airbag recall has to do with the fact that these Honda airbags are defective, and when deployed shatter plastic shrapnel everywhere as the airbag deploys. This shrapnel has disfigured, harmed and seriously injured many passengers, leading to an outcry from Honda owners. This recall was expanded nationally by Honda America Corp. last week and worldwide Wednesday.
The recall in question has to do with the compressed propellant that’s an integral part of these airbags. Over time and exposed to humidity this compressed gas could deteriorate, causing excessive force and pressure that could rupture the tank it’s held in.
This tank rupture has led to the flying bits of “metal and plastic shrapnel” being reported across the nation from select import vehicles.
Don’t be in the blind, use the NHTSA master VIN lookup tool to see what recalls your vehicle qualifies for and if your airbags are safe.