Deathbags: Thailand urges drivers to replace deadly airbags

Photo:  U.S. Transportation Department
Photo: U.S. Transportation Department

More than half a million vehicles in Thailand have faulty airbags that can cause serious injury or death, according to transport officials and a consumer advocacy agency.

Dozens of people have been killed and hundreds injured worldwide in the years since Takata airbags were recalled over their tendency to fire shrapnel into people’s chests. In October, a Thai motorist was injured by a metal part shot onto their chest in a collision, and now transport officials are urging people to replace them for free.

Airbags aren’t supposed to do this. Image: Thai Automotive Industry Association

The Land Transport Department yesterday estimated that more than 600,000 vehicles with the faulty airbags remain on the road.

The automotive industry association reminds car owners that they can book online appointments for free replacements, which takes about an hour.

Affected vehicles include Chevrolet (2007-2015), BMW (1998-2018), Ford (1998-2014), Honda (1998-2014), Mazda (2004-2014), Mitsubishi (2005-2015), Nissan (2000-2014) and Toyota (2001-2014).

Takata, a Japanese automotive parts maker, had its airbags recalled by numerous auto makers after it was found that metal fragments could eject from the bags, causing severe injury and death. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2017. 

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has counted 27 people killed around the world by the bad bags.

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