The propellent Takata used is exploding with such force that it’s ripping the inflators into tiny metal fragments and shooting them in the direction of vehicle occupants. To make matters worse, the inflators are exploding in low-speed accidents with very little impact.
Which Mercury Have Been Recalled?
What are Zones?
Some Takata recalls are being broken down into what NHTSA calls “zones”. A zone is a group of states and territories where a vehicle was originally sold or registered at some point in time. A few notes about zones:
- A vehicle can be recalled in more than one zone.
- When no zone is defined, the recall was more widespread. Possibly internationally.
- If you find this all very confusing, you’re not alone my friend.
So, here we go:
- Zone A: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan) and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Zone B: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
- Zone C: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Takata inflators have been linked to 11 deaths in the USA, so far.
Owners of these vehicles are urged to call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or lookup your VIN (vehicle identification number).
“Consumers that are uncertain whether their vehicle is impacted by the Takata recalls, or any other recall, can contact their manufacturer’s website to search, by their vehicle identification number (VIN) to confirm whether their individual vehicle has an open recall that needs to be addressed.”
Takata News and Notes
Ford is recalling another 816,000 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles to replace passenger-side frontal Takata airbag inflators as part of a recent Takata recall of 5.7 million inflators.
The airbags are at danger of exploding when they deploy because the chemical ammonium nitrate used to deploy the airbags can become unstable due to time, heat and humidity.
NHTSA says three independent investigations prove a combination of time, moisture and high temperatures cause the explosive chemical inside the inflators to become unstable and degrade over time.
After learning a Ford Ranger driver had been killed by an exploding Takata airbag, Ford is recalling over 391,000 Ranger trucks in the U.S. and Canada.
A 2006 Ford Ranger Takata airbag death in South Carolina is the 10th confirmed fatality caused by an exploding Takata airbag inflator.
Takata better hope its non-airbag business is enough to sustain the company because when it comes to vehicle airbags, the game might be over. And for airbags made with ammonium nitrate, the game is definitely over.