It’s Time to Address Critical Safety Recalls for Your Vehicle
2017 has seen massive recalls over defective air bags and seat belts—two critical vehicle occupant safety features. To procrastinate over dealing with these recalls, or to flat out ignore them, is to put your life and the lives of your passengers in constant danger.
Air Bags Save Lives
Airbags are another crucial defense against dying or being seriously injured in a crash. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:
- Frontal airbags reduce driver fatalities in frontal crashes by 29 percent and fatalities of front-seat passengers age 13 and older by 32 percent.
- Side airbags that protect the head reduce a car driver’s risk of death in driver-side crashes by 37 percent and an SUV driver’s risk by 52 percent.
Defective Seat Belts and Air Bags Can Be Repaired for Free
More than 32 million vehicles with faulty and potentially deadly Takata air bags have been recalled, yet only 47% of owners have brought them in for repair. These faulty airbags have been blamed for more than 16 deaths across the globe, mainly due to shrapnel and other debris that can enter the vehicle when the air bags deploy.
Manufacturers that have issued massive seat belt recalls in 2016 include Ford (680,000) and GM (1.03 million). Manufacturers repair recalled components for free. Call your dealer and make an appointment.
Checking for Recalls is Easy
NHTSA keeps a database of vehicle recalls. Type in your vehicle’s VIN number (you can usually find it on your insurance slip) and it will tell you if your particular ride has been the subject of a recall. You can also search the database by vehicle make and model.
Even purchasing a new or pre-owned vehicle through a major dealership comes with the risk of having an unchecked recall. According to the New York Times, “big used-car chains could advertise their used vehicles as having been carefully inspected and repaired even if the cars might still be subject to safety recalls for problems that had not been fixed.” It’ll be worth your while to ensure that all recalls from past and present have been addressed for your vehicle.
I know that taking your car or truck into the shop for a recall remedy can be a huge hassle. But when it comes to seatbelts and airbags, isn’t your life and the lives of your family worth spending a few hours to get it done? Sometimes, the most precious gift of all is your time. Give it this year.