Takata Corporation is an automotive parts manufacturer based in Japan and founded in 1933. Takata began making airbags in the late 1980s and supplying the airbags to different car manufacturers around the world; it is now one of the world’s leading suppliers of airbag systems.

Since 2004, a rolling recall of Takata airbags has been on-going. In November of 2008, Honda recalled more than 4,000 cars with Takata airbags, which increased to an additional 510,000 vehicles six months later after a teenager was killed by fragments from an exploding airbag. The NHTSA conducted their first investigation into the airbags in 2009, and in 2013 several Japanese carmakers and BMW recalled a total of 3.6 million cars for defective Takata airbags.

As the number of cars recalled for defective airbags increased the NHTSA started their second investigation into the airbags in June of 2014, and eventually began demanding that automakers issue nationwide recalls in the United States. In July 2014, NHTSA forced additional regional recalls in high-humidity areas including Florida, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A New York Times report in September 2014, found a total of at least 139 reported injuries across all automakers, citing at least two deaths and 30 injuries in Honda vehicles alone. According to the Times, Honda and Takata allegedly had known about the faulty inflators since 2004 but failed to notify NHTSA in previous recall filings, which began in 2008, that the affected airbags had actually ruptured or were linked to these injuries and deaths.

Another major recall issued in October 2014, expanded the affected vehicles across several makes.


On May 19, 2015 the recall was expanded by 11.5 million vehicles. Takata has confirmed that the number of vehicles affected globally is now at 53 million; of these, approximately 34 million vehicles are in the United States, which qualifies this as the largest automotive recall in American history.

The following vehicle manufacturers may have cars affected by the recall:

  • Acura
  • BMW
  • Chrysler
  • Dodge/Ram
  • Ford
  • Honda
  • Infiniti
  • Lexus
  • Mazda
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan
  • Pontiac
  • Saab
  • Subaru
  • Toyota

The issue with the airbags is in regards to a defective inflator and propellant devices that may deploy improperly during a crash. When this occurs, it shoots metal fragments into the passenger compartment, seriously injuring and even killing its occupants.