Earlier this week, Honda announced that it would no longer be equipping its vehicles with air bags manufactured by Takata, the auto-parts maker responsible for the recall of approximately 34 million cars and trucks in the U.S. And since the recall affects 1 in 7 vehicles on the road, now’s the time to check out whether your vehicle’s affected. To help you navigate it, we’ve compiled answers to the most common recall questions.

What caused the recall?

The vehicles were recalled due to faulty Takata air bags. In a car accident, the recalled air bags may deploy violently because of a defective propellant device. Since the excess pressure created when the air bag deploys creates a potential for injury, the defective air bags should be replaced as soon as possible.

Which automakers are affected by the recall?

The recall currently involves 11 automakers: BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota.

Each automaker has recalled specific models, including some under their subsidiary brand names. Most of the recalled vehicles were manufactured between 2002 and 2008, but some are as new as 2014. You can find a complete list of the affected years, makes, and models here.

Has my car been recalled?

See if your car is included in the recall by visiting safercar.gov and clicking “Search for recall by VIN” on the right side of the screen. To find your VIN, check the dashboard near the driver’s side, under the windshield. The recall list will specify if your car is affected and, if so, which air bag needs to be replaced — the driver’s side, passenger’s side, or both. If your car is affected, you should also be contacted by your manufacturer.

If your car’s not on the list, check back regularly. Given the size and complexity of the recall, there’s a chance more vehicles could be added in the coming weeks. You can also monitor updates from the National Highway Transportations Safety Administration (NHTSA) here.

What should I do if my car’s been recalled?

  1. Reach out to your local dealership to make an appointment for a replacement.
  2. If you don’t feel safe driving the vehicle, ask your dealer if a loaner car is available. Some (but not all) manufacturers are providing loaners to concerned customers.
  3. Remember that if your car’s on the recall list, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s defective. It means that the air bag(s) could potentially malfunction.

How much will the repairs cost?

Your authorized dealer should replace the air bag at no cost to you. A recall letter isn’t required to have your vehicle repaired, but it can make things easier. Bring the letter to the appointment if you have one.

If a dealer requires payment, find another authorized dealer or contact your automaker directly. As a last resort, call the NHTSA directly to report any issues.

How long will it take to get a replacement air bag?

Each manufacturer is handling the recall differently. While the investigation’s ongoing, areas with high humidity and temperatures have seen the most air bag malfunctions. Because of that, replacement parts are being sent to those areas first. Other areas may have to wait longer.

Where can I learn more about vehicle recalls?

Here are a few resources to keep you in the know when it comes to vehicle recalls:

Car Recalls: Should You Take Them Seriously?

What Is a Car Recall and How Do You Deal with It?

Safety Recall Notifications: Everything You Need to Know

Safe and smart | Car safety


about Meghan

During her time as an editor for the Esurance creative team, Meghan “layed the smackdown” on style and grammar rules. Hailing from Chicagoland, she’s written about everything from industrial welding to dog fashion. She spends her weekends attending live comedy shows (likely laughing so hard she cries) and reveling in the art of well-mixed cocktails.