MATT GEPHARDT

Thousands of cars equipped with faulty airbags on Utah roads as automakers issues ‘Do Not Drive’ warnings

Jun 4, 2024, 10:48 PM | Updated: Jun 5, 2024, 5:30 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Over the past 10 years, auto manufacturers have recalled over 67 million Takata airbags because of their potential to explode if deployed in a collision and shoot out sharp metal fragments.

The defective airbags have been linked to 27 deaths in the U.S. so far and injured more than 400 drivers and passengers. And as horrible as that is, experts say those airbags become even more likely to explode the longer they’re allowed to sit in our cars unfixed.

This past week, Nissan issued a “do not drive” order for 84,000 older cars with unfixed Takata airbags. Toyota, Ford, BMW, Mazda and Honda all have issued similar warnings that their cars cannot be safely driven until the airbags are replaced.

“Park the car,” said Patrick Olsen, editor-in-chief at Carfax, of the “do not drive” warnings. “’We’ll (automakers) send a tow truck for you. We’ll take it, get it fixed and bring it back to you.’”

Olsen said long-term exposure of the airbag’s propellant to high heat and humidity only increases the odds the airbag will explode.

“I know Salt Lake City – plenty of heat. And so, every summer, it’s accruing more and more trouble in that airbag,” he said.

According to numbers Carfax shared with the KSL Investigators, 70,000 cars and trucks on Utah roads right now have unfixed Takata airbags. Sixty-two thousand of those are based in the Salt Lake area.

Olsen says supply chain issues that plagued airbags are no longer there.

“There was absolutely a shortage of replacement recalls back in 2014 when the recalls started and frankly lasted for several years,” Olsen said. “Now, though, there is no shortage of replacement airbags.”

If you’re unsure if you have a recalled airbag in your car, it’s easy to check. Search your car’s VIN on Carfax’s website or the website for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You’ll have the answer in seconds.

Olsen said an airbag generally will only take a couple of hours to replace at absolutely no cost to you. Schedule an appointment ahead with the manufacturer’s dealership, so you can be sure there is an airbag on hand for your model. Even if you’re not the car’s original owner, they must repair it.

Matt Gephardt

Danielle Addicott showing KSL's Matt Gephardt the fraud charges that were on her Wells Fargo accoun...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Get Gephardt helps Utah woman who says her bank refused to refund stolen money

A Park City woman says thousands of dollars were stolen from her bank account, but the bank refused to cover her loss. She decided to Get Gephardt.

14 days ago

Credit cards...

Matt Gephardt

Household debt reaches record high but inflation is masking debt progress

Personal finance experts say American household debt is at a record high, but considering the circumstances, it could be much worse.

15 days ago

James Oborn shows KSL’s Matt Gephardt one side of a signpost saying there is no street parking at...

Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt helps Utahn who says confusing signs led to towing woes

If you park in violation of a community’s rules, you’d expect to be towed. But what does Utah law say about parking enforcement signs that are confusing?

16 days ago

A Utah man purchased Aerosmith tickets back when the show was scheduled in 2023, but the show got p...

Matt Gephardt

Utahns fighting for refunds on postponed Aerosmith concert

A Utah man purchased Aerosmith tickets back when the show was scheduled in 2023, but the show got pushed to a day that no longer works for him. He decided to Get Gephardt when his quest for a refund hit a dead end.

24 days ago

The KSL Investigators purchased four supermarket containers of strawberries, spinach and grapes to ...

Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Food for thought: Do storage containers keep your fruits and veggies fresh longer?

Many manufacturers claim their food storage containers will keep fruits and vegetables fresh longer. The KSL Investigators tested just how well those bins live up to their hype.

28 days ago

The USDA estimates we toss out 30-40% of our food purchases, even though much of it is perfectly sa...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Food for thought: How understanding date labels can prevent food waste

The USDA estimates we toss out 30-40% of our food purchases, even though much of it is perfectly safe to eat. Decoding date labels could help you bust inflation.

29 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Thousands of cars equipped with faulty airbags on Utah roads as automakers issues ‘Do Not Drive’ warnings