It's been more than two and a half years since the Takata airbag recall first made waves. Despite knowing which airbags were at fault and the exact cause of the failure, manufacturers like Audi, Ferrari, McLaren, and Tesla have been building and selling cars with defective airbags. Although it takes several years for the airbag to degrade to the point of failure, all of these new cars will eventually have to be recalled for replacements. It appears that time has come, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has now issued a recall on some of these new models.
Models from Tesla and McLaren have been added to NHTSA's recall list for the first time. Tesla is recalling every 2012 - 2016 Model S while McLaren is bringing back every model it's made since relaunching its road-car business in 2012. Not even the P1 is free from failure. Other automakers have expanded their affected-vehicle list. All of Ferrari's 2016 - 2017 lineup now falls under the recall and joins a number of previously recalled models, while Audi is recalling the 2017 R8.
Since the recall started, dozens of automakers have recalled millions of affected cars to replace potentially fatal and highly flawed airbags that can deploy bits of metal at occupants. Eleven deaths in the United States are directly related to the faulty airbags. Before the recall, Takata held a sizable share of the airbag market. When the failures began to occur, some automakers were left with no alternative suppliers. As it takes a few years for the airbags to fail, automakers without other options faced a choice: they could either build cars that would be recalled in the future or stop building cars altogether until a secondary supplier could be found.
These recalls seem to be happening so frequently that owners may not know what to do or where to check to see if their car is potentially affected. NHTSA is keeping a comprehensive list of all affected models. Their website can help owners determine if they have a potentially problematic airbag installed and the steps to take to replace it.