The drivers that entered the US recall-search website of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration were aiming to find out if their vehicle was involved in the latest string of Takata-related recalls.
Unfortunately, they found themselves in an online traffic jam, as no less than 4.7 million people were advised by the NHTSA to verify if their model was safe to drive. The agency issued the public warning because some recall campaigns date as far back as 2013 and driving them would be a dangerous move – especially with Toyota and GM urging customers of certain models to avoid taking passengers on the front seat. Yesterday, the search function on safercar.gov had “intermittent network issues” and some features were unavailable.
The US safety regulator is currently probing airbags produced by Japan’s Takata Corp. – it appears that when exposed to high humidity the components could deploy the airbags with so much force the inflators explode and send metal parts inside the cabin and towards the persons inside the car. The NHTSA warning also came after testing showed the issue was more serious than previously assessed – vehicles from Toyota, Honda, BMW, Nissan, GM and Mazda were affected by the recall campaigns.
The NHTSA’s recall-search website can show vehicle owners if their car is among the safety campaigns through the vehicle identification number and also allows consumers to file complaints against the automakers.