Even as 2014 has seen two massive recall scandals, automakers continue to confuse US and worldwide drivers on a regular basis when it comes to safety campaigns that could potentially mean the difference between life and death.
Just recently, hundreds of thousands of US Toyota owners have been cautioned by a grim warning through first-class mail – go right away to the dealership to change a defective airbag and don’t let anyone sit next to you in the meantime. On the other hand, thousands of buyers of Chrysler cars equipped with the same airbags (so the danger is potentially equal) won’t get notified formally before December and can get free tickets to Disney World if they let the company’s engineers perform tests on the airbags.
When it comes to Takata’s ongoing airbag debacle, in six years, no less than five deaths (including one pregnant woman) have been tied to the airbag’s inflators – which exploded with excessive force, sending metal debris flying inside the cabin at high velocity. More than 11 million vehicles have been recalled in the US and at least 17 million globally. But these numbers actually make up for just “safety improvement campaigns,” informal “regional recalls,” and normal recalls of specific models – a national campaign is yet to be seen from any of the implicated automakers.