Biggest auto recall ever; what to do next

automakersIf you’re trying to keep track of vehicle recalls, it can be a rough and confusing ride.

Tuesday the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced a national recall of defective and potentially deadly airbags that were used in about 34 million vehicles, making this recall the largest in U.S. history.airbag3

NHTSA reported the Takata air bag inflators were made with a propellant that can degrade over time, linking the issue to six deaths.

The inflators were used in vehicles made by BMW, Chrysler, Daimler Trucks, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota, according to a statement from NHTSA.airbag2

The airbags can explode violently and send shrapnel into vehicles, according to NHTSA.

Earlier this month, CBS 13 worked with Carfax to expose dangerous defects that could be hiding in your car. Carfax estimates about 200,000 vehicles in Maine that are on the road or up for sale with an unrepaired recall issue.

“It’s a huge issue. We’re talking about 46 million cars across the country that have an unfixed recall,” Carfax’s Chris Basso said.

Carfax offers a free app. It lets you easily see if your vehicle has a recall that hasn’t been fixed.

You can also search for your vehicle identification number (VIN) on NHTSA’s website.

  1. Find your VIN on your front driver’s side dash or registration card.
  2. Search for recalls often. NHTSA said it’s still waiting for automakers to identify which vehicles are affected by the Takata airbag recall so your VIN might not be in the system for several weeks.
  3. If your vehicle is part of this (or any) recall, contact a local dealer to schedule a free fix.
Jon Chrisos

About Jon Chrisos

Award-winning journalist Jon Chrisos is the investigative and consumer reporter at CBS 13 in Portland. He also anchors weeknights at 5:30. Chrisos is “On Your Side” investigating the stories that make a difference in your life. He’s passionate about helping those who’ve been wronged, exposing government waste, asking tough questions, and uncovering the truth.