With more than 32 million vehicles recalled among 33 different automotive brands, the widespread Takata airbag issue includes more impacted vehicles than the next five largest recalls from the past 20 years combined, according to the experts from Kelley Blue Book. Even though the Takata airbag recall numbers continue to climb along with the severity of this potentially deadly issue, consumer awareness and concern about the Takata recall is low compared to other national and global issues.
According to an all-new study from KBB, the Takata airbag recall has the lowest general awareness of current events and issues among all respondents, at just 52 percent, compared to Zika virus (84 percent), Hillary Clinton’s email issue (87 percent) and the presidential election (95 percent), among others. Furthermore, only a quarter of respondents believe the Takata airbag recall is very or extremely important, which also ranked lowest among these other national and international issues. Of those familiar with the Takata recall, only 31 percent describe themselves as very or extremely concerned about the Takata recall, falling behind the Zika virus (49 percent), the presidential election (78 percent) and terrorism (79 percent).
“Consumer opinions on the Takata airbag recall seem to be another unfortunate case of people thinking ‘it won’t happen to me,’ but this is easily the largest, most expensive automotive safety issue in U.S. history. In fact, one-in-eight vehicles on the road are affected by this massive recall, yet 33 percent of those surveyed don’t know if they are impacted,” said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “It is vital that all households look up their vehicle’s status on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website safercar.gov and check with their manufacturer. In vehicles impacted by the Takata recall, the front airbags of the vehicle that are intended to protect riders in the event of a collision, may actually wind up causing injury and/or death by deploying incorrectly.”
According to the study, the major Japanese automakers, Toyota Motor Corp. (58 percent), Honda Motor Co. (46 percent) and Nissan Motors (35 percent), were most commonly believed to be affected by the recall, followed by General Motors (34 percent), Mitsubishi Motors (29 percent) and Ford Motor Co. (28 percent). In addition, three out of four respondents said they would not be likely to purchase a new vehicle from a manufacturer that may still be using Takata airbags.
The 2016 Takata Airbag Recall Study was conducted among 1,000 respondents reflective of the United States Census general population (race, age, gender, income and education) between June 3-6.