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Hard to believe: Takata air bag recall just got even bigger

Hard to believe: Takata air bag recall just got even bigger

You might reasonably be one of those motorists in California or elsewhere who until now has been telling your friends that, while the Takata air bag recall is certainly notable, it hasn’t affected your vehicle.

The odds that you are correct went down markedly this past week.

In fact, one of the largest vehicle-related safety recalls ever issued just got bigger.

Let’s be accurate here: The pronounced debacle surrounding Takata’s bags has materially intensified, with the nearly 30 million bags previously under recall being added to this past Wednesday with a shockingly high augmentation.

As in 40 million additional bags.

Here’s a bit of perspective on that: Reportedly, close to 25 percent of all passenger vehicles operating on U.S. roadways are now affected by the recall.

And, say commentators, it could take years before the mess is cleared up and public confidence can be restored regarding deploying Takata bags.

Those are supposed to protect vehicle occupants and save lives, of course. And, while safety experts say that the air bags are generally effective (that is, there are admonitions against disconnecting them out of concerns that they will harm rather than help vehicle occupants in the event of a crash), a number of bag-related deaths and injuries have been reported.

Exploding shrapnel will yield that result, which makes the sheer number of recalled vehicles in the United States a major safety concern.

An executive with a major national vehicle retailer says that bag-related challenges (e.g., getting parts on hand and vehicles in for fixes) will be “almost overwhelming” in upcoming years.

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