If you have kept up with the news or social media on any level, then the Takata airbag recall should ring a bell. It has been deemed the largest recall in U.S. history, totaling almost 34 million vehicles (1 in 4 on the road). The NHTSA has thus far listed 11 manufacturers with multiple models affected by this recall. So far the list consists of BMW, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. Let's not forget about their sister companies such as Acura, Infiniti and Lexus.
All parties involved in getting this recall situation squared away, including Takata Corp., manufacturers, and the NHTSA, are incredibly backed up right now, so there's a good chance you may not have received a recall notification from a dealer yet. Many dealers are not fully aware of all the affected vehicles.
If you own a vehicle by one of the brands listed above, you may be feeling some level of discomfort. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can attempt to speed up the notification process if think your vehicle may be part of the recall. In this post we've covered the best approaches to take, whether a consumer, dealer, or dealer service provider, and the resources to get started.
Before diving into the research, take a look at Car & Driver's recently updated list of specific vehicle models and years that have been identified for the Takata recall so far.
1. Get Recall Info from NHTSA
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers a VIN search tool that confirms whether your vehicle is under recall. The list of vehicles affected by the Takata recall is still not complete. However, the NHTSA immediately informs the public when auto manufacturers provide more information. As the website notes, "it generally takes anywhere from a few days to several weeks for automakers to gather individual VINs associated with a recall." So make sure you check for your vehicle periodically if you suspect it has been affected.
For those purchasing a used vehicle that may be under the Takata airbag recall, it's important that you use this tool as well to confirm that the vehicle has not been affected. If it has, make sure the recalled airbag(s) has been replaced before purchasing.
Here's a sample of the NHTSA VIN lookup tool, showing an incomplete recall status:
You can also contact the NHTSA Hotline at 1-888-327-4236
2. Get Recall Info from the OEMs
Another resource that's great for tracking the status of the Takata recall, or any recall for that matter, is the OEM's website. Most offer a VIN decoder to access specific vehicles. Many of the OEM websites also include a memo providing basic information on a current recall, such as the Takata airbag recall, which are regularly updated. For any further concern, calling the OEM's hotline is the next best option. Below we've provided the OEM's recall page URLs as well as their customer support hotline numbers.
Here's a sample of an OEM Safety Recall search result from the Nissan Website:
3. Get Recall Info from a VIN Decoding Solution
Dealers and dealer service providers are often looking for this recall information in aggregate, as checking individual VINs one at a time can be rather time consuming. All the resources above are great for consumer use, but are not the most efficient for bulk search. Working with a commercial automotive data supplier can provide your business with a ready-made solution for determining if a vehicle has a recall, using VIN or a Year/Make/Model/Trim lookup. This can be the most efficient and ideal solution for dealers and dealer service providers, especially those that deal with many OEMs. These are updated daily as they become available from the NHTSA.
Below is an example of what our NHTSA Recall data mapping looks like for a decoded 2005 Chrysler 300:
While driving around in a vehicle that could be part of the Takata airbag recall is frustrating and somewhat unsettling, all of the solutions listed above can help ease the situation to a degree. As this recall has been ongoing, not all vehicles involved have yet been identified. It is important that consumers, dealers and dealer service providers use these tools to periodically check back on the latest recall statuses. If you are a business looking to provide this data solution for your dealer clients or vehicle shoppers, click below to set up a trial via web service or delivered data.