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The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a warning for owners of nearly 84,000 older Nissan vehicles in the United States to immediately stop driving them due to a safety hazard posed by recalled Takata airbags. This announcement came after Nissan issued a similar warning for certain vehicles, including the 2002-2006 model year Nissan Sentra, 2002-2004 Nissan Pathfinder, and 2002-2003 Infiniti QX4, that were recalled in 2020 but have not been repaired. NHTSA emphasized that owners should not drive these vehicles until the airbag defect is fixed, and Nissan dealers are offering free towing, mobile repair, and loaner vehicles in some areas.

The Takata airbag recall is one of the biggest auto safety callbacks in history, with over 100 million inflators recalled worldwide and 7 million in the United States. This recall was initiated due to defects in the airbag inflators that can cause them to explode, releasing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks. Since 2009, over 30 deaths and more than 400 injuries have been reported globally, with the majority of incidents occurring in the United States. The issue has been attributed to propellant degradation over time due to exposure to high-temperature fluctuations and humidity, resulting in potentially deadly consequences even in minor crashes.

NHTSA emphasized the severity of the Takata airbag issue, stating that even minor crashes can trigger the inflators to explode and cause fatal or life-altering injuries. The agency’s warning comes after Chrysler parent company Stellantis instructed owners of 29,000 2003 Dodge Ram pickups to immediately cease driving their vehicles until repairs were completed, following a fatality caused by a Takata airbag inflator explosion. Toyota also recently urged owners of 50,000 older vehicles in the United States, including the 2003-2004 Corolla, 2003-2004 Corolla Matrix, and 2004-2005 RAV4, to prioritize recall repairs to prevent potential airbag-related incidents.

Given the significant safety risks associated with the Takata airbag recalls, NHTSA and automakers are taking proactive measures to ensure the protection of vehicle owners and passengers. The agency’s warning underscores the urgency of addressing the issue promptly and seeking repair solutions from authorized dealers. With free towing, mobile repair services, and loaner vehicles being offered as part of the recall efforts, owners are encouraged to prioritize their safety and compliance with repair directives to mitigate the potential hazards posed by the defective airbags. The ongoing efforts to address the Takata airbag recall highlight the importance of proactive safety measures and regulatory oversight to safeguard consumers against preventable auto safety risks.

In conclusion, the Takata airbag recall represents a critical safety concern for owners of affected vehicles, prompting NHTSA and automakers to issue urgent warnings and repair directives. The significant number of recalled inflators globally and the reported fatalities and injuries underscore the seriousness of the issue and the potential dangers posed by the defective airbags. By following the repair guidelines and availing of the assistance offered by dealers, owners can prioritize their safety and minimize the risks associated with driving vehicles equipped with unrepaired Takata airbags. The collaborative efforts between regulatory agencies, automakers, and vehicle owners are essential in addressing the recall effectively and ensuring the protection of all road users. It is crucial for owners to heed the warnings issued by NHTSA and automakers, comply with repair instructions promptly, and play an active role in prioritizing safety measures to prevent potential airbag-related incidents.

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