by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:
Automakers are scrambling to figure out which models have the problematic air bags and which have been found to explode forcefully at times, potentially shooting shrapnel and other debris through a vehicle. They have been linked to at least six deaths and more than 100 injuries.
Experts at Ford of Kirkland said they know customers want to immediately go online and check their cars’ VIN numbers, but they suggest waiting a week and then calling dealerships directly.
“It’s going to take a little bit for the info that we get to catch up to the big headlines that we saw with millions of cars,” service director Tom Olson said.
The automakers currently affected by the recall are BMW, Fiat, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and Daimler Trucks,
The repair is free and Olson estimates the actual work will take only a day.
“But getting the parts in and coordinating with that customer—there’s the challenge,” he said.
Some experts believe it could take weeks or months for dealerships get all the replacement air bags they need. Takata has still not identified the cause of the problem.
Olson said as soon as consumers find out their cars are included in the recall, they should get on the repair list at their dealership.
“We want to get them in and get them fixed as soon as possible so they can feel good about their car again,” he said.
Clifton Anderson, who checked his car last year when Takata was at the center of a smaller recall, said he’ll be checking his cars again.
“Indeed, a phone call and a VIN number, you bet,” he said. “I’d like to know.”Owners can key in their vehicle identification number at https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/ to see if their car is part of the recall. The number is stamped on the dashboard near the driver's side windshield and also can be found on state auto registration documents. It may take weeks before all the identification numbers are entered into the database.