Federal regulators say the number of potentially dangerous Takata airbags that have been replaced so far is too small. Up to 69 million airbags are now recalled, but it’s estimated that fewer than 13 million have been replaced. That’s about 20 percent. And it’s also estimated that right now, about one in every six cars on the roadways has a defective airbag.
The devices use ammonium nitrate to inflate the bag, but in some crashes, those inflators have actually exploded and sent metal shrapnel flying into the front seat. Eleven people have died and 180 have been injured.
Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants older cars in hot and humid climates to have airbags replaced sooner than other vehicles. “So we actually have priorities to make sure that people in the highest risk get their inflators first,” Mark Rosekind from NHTSA told NBC News.
Currently, up to 19 brands are affected by the recall. NHTSA’s priorities include cars at least six years old in hot, humid climates.
To find out if your car is under recall and where it now falls on the priority list go to this website and plug in your VIN number.