Airbag Recall

May 9, 2016
airbag recall

The largest airbag recall in US history just got a whole lot bigger as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) adds another 35-40 million Takata airbags to the list.

Though the specific vehicles included in the expansion have not yet been announced, the NHTSA will roll out its expansion in five phases, prioritizing high-risk vehicles. According to the NHTSA, risk will be determined by the age of the airbag inflators and exposure to high humidity and fluctuating high temperatures, which accelerates the degradation of the chemical propellant – the root cause of the faulty airbags.

Recently, some car manufacturers have notified their customers that airbag replacement parts are in short supply and that repairs may take longer than expected. Those drivers waiting for repairs have been advised to rent cars while they wait. But given the recall’s latest expansion, this could mean longer wait times with rental cars.

As the Takata recall continues to unfold, the safety of our customers is our top priority. If you are a Plymouth Rock customer and your vehicle has been affected by this recall, rest assured we’ve got you protected.  As long as the recalled vehicle is out of use, your Plymouth Rock coverage will extend to your replacement rental vehicle until the necessary repairs can be completed – consider your auto insurance one less thing to worry about during this particularly stressful time. Please remember that for coverage to apply, it is important that you do not use the recalled vehicle until repairs are completed.

If you have any questions about your Plymouth Rock auto insurance policy, do not hesitate to contact your Plymouth Rock independent agent or call our Customer Solutions team. We’re here to help.

Wait. Back up. What?

In November 2014, the New York Times released an article claiming that Takata, a popular airbag manufacturer, was aware of defects with its airbags years before it filed paperwork with federal regulator. Shortly after, the NHTSA issued a national recall of defective Takata airbags, which included a range of popular car models, from BMW and Chrysler to Ford and Honda. A number of things took place in the months that followed regarding the Takata situation, including Takata’s official acknowledgement of its faulty airbags in May 2015 and the U.S. Department of Transportation imposing the largest civil penalty in NHTSA history on Takata in November 2015.

The problem

ConsumerReports.org explains the issue lies within the airbag’s inflator. The inflator is a metal cartridge loaded with propellant wafers, which has been shown to ignite improperly with explosive force. In some cases, when a cartridge ruptures, it can send metals shards flying from the airbag – an obviously dangerous outcome to those riding in the car.

To date, 10 deaths and over 100 injuries can be linked to Takata’s faulty airbags.

Have you been affected?

If you’re not sure if your car is affected by the recall, you can use your VIN to check on the NHTSA’s website, where you can also find a list of affected vehicles.

Since the NHTSA is rolling out the latest expansion of affected vehicles in phases, consider subscribing to its Recall Notification System – this way, you’ll be among the first to know if your specific car has been included in the recall.

Headquartered in Boston,Plymouth Rock Assurance is a leading auto insurance carrier in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire. Personal auto and commercial auto policies in Massachusetts and Connecticut are underwritten by Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation. New Hampshire auto and home policies are underwritten by Mt. Washington Assurance Corporation. Each is a member of the Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in auto and homeowners insurance.