Following the discovery that airbags may shoot out shrapnel during a crash, Subaru warned customers not to allow front-seat passengers in their cars until they can be repaired. Some cars, however, won’t be fixed until next year.
“According to the recall notice posted with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the vehicles are equipped with certain airbag inflators assembled by Takata. In the event of a crash necessitating the deployment of the safety devices, the inflators may rupture with enough force to spew pieces of metal at occupants,” explained Consumerist. “Millions of consumers have already received notice that their cars are affected by the defect, but unable to be fixed at the moment. This is because of the large nature of the recall and the tens of millions of new inflators needed.”
“This is not acceptable,” said one customer who was notified that he couldn’t use the front passenger seat for potentially a year.
In an FAQ, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advised those who don’t feel comfortable driving their car until the repair date to “contact your dealer and ask for a loaner until an interim or a final repair is completed.” However, it was also noted that dealers are not obliged to provide this service.
“Vehicles equipped with air bags, including air bags that are under recall, save lives and reduce injuries. The vast majority of Takata air bags will perform as expected. However, as made clear by the agency’s unprecedented action, we do not accept even the small number of failures,” wrote the NHTSA on their website. “Lives have been lost due to this defect.”
“If you feel uncomfortable continuing to drive your vehicle before the recall repair has been performed on your vehicle, you should contact your dealer and ask for a loaner until an interim or a final repair is completed,” they continued, adding, “Dealers and manufacturers are not required to provide you a loaner car, but it can never hurt to ask.”