The other day, my fiancé and I were going through papers and textbooks we didn’t need in preparation to move into our new house. He picked up an open envelope that had “something about a Honda Civic recall” in it, and mumbled that he was recycling it as he walked out the door. “Stop!” I said. “STOP!”
I knew the envelope from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was a notice for his Civic’s Takata airbag, part of the largest safety recall in automotive history that sent Takata into bankruptcy. I’d known his car was involved in the Takata recall for a long time, but it either fell to the back of my mind or I passively figured he’d already gotten the thing fixed.
But the frightening part, to me, was that it didn’t seem to really register with him when I said, “That’s the Takata recall! You have to go do that!” Instead, he seemed to just shrug it off. I’m sure a lot of people do, if they don’t keep up with this kind of stuff.
Being outside of the automotive circles that talk and write about it all the time, he seemed to not know the danger he could be in if his airbag went off and one of those cheap inflators activated. Sure, the injury and death numbers from the airbags are low, but why chance it when you have a letter in the mail saying the local dealership will replace your potentially defective airbag at no charge?
It took thorough begging to get him to schedule a service appointment for the recall, since he has “to work every day until 5 p.m.” and doesn’t “have time to take the car in.” The thing is, you probably won’t have the best time at work if your car’s airbag explodes in your face on the way there.
My fiancé made time for the recall on Saturday morning, probably just to keep me from constantly begging. Regardless of reason, I was glad he did it.
Looking back, of course, I should have been more proactive in having him take the car in sooner, considering that I knew the whole Takata situation. But we just graduated from college, and both of us going to different universities for three years and only seeing each other once every two weeks made it easy to forget about an automotive recall.
So, when I did actually see him, I let it slip. Excuses, I know.
But on that note, is there anyone you know who hasn’t gotten the recall done—perhaps due to “not having the time” or because that person doesn’t really know what the recall is about? Or, have you yourself not gone to get it done for whatever reason?
If you need more background on the situation, you can read up here, here and here. If you fear that you accidentally tossed your Takata recall notice, you can check an entire list of affected manufacturers and car models here. (There are reportedly more than 100 million affected vehicles.) If you really want specifics, you can look up any recall that affects your car’s VIN number here.
Go forth and drive safely, everyone. Get your recalls done.