You’ve seen the media coverage for the recall of the Takata airbag inflator in several makes and models of vehicles, including work trucks such as the GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500 in model years 2007-2008; the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 and 3500 in model years 2007-2008; and the Dodge Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 in model years 2003-2009; plus the Dodge Ram 4500 and 5500 in model years 2008-2010. The recall list is vast, and as of May 4, the recall list for the Takata airbag inflator has been expanded.
The first recall for Takata driver side inflators occurred in November 2008 by Honda. In April 2013, Takata filed a defect report that the air bag may rupture in hot and humid conditions. In June 2014, the recalls began in geographic areas experiencing hot and humid weather. In May 2015, based on test results and pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Takata admitted a defect may exist and approximately 22 million inflators were part of a nationwide recall. The mushroom cloud erupted with a public information meeting in late 2015 that has led to a total recall of millions of vehicles in 2016.
IN THE KNOW ON RECALLS
As a fleet owner, staying on top of the maintenance needs of your service vehicles is a full-time job. The NHTSA recommends checking for recalls at least twice a year using the VIN number on the www.safercar.gov site. Depending on the total number of vehicles in your fleet, automating the task of checking for recalls and technical service bulletins may work best. On the NHTSA website, you can sign up for email alerts that will notify you if your vehicle is included in a future recall. SaferCar also offers a mobile app to receive alerts and to access other helpful safety tools.
Typically, the vehicle manufacturer will send you a notice to alert you to the recall. Take each recall seriously and handle as soon as possible. Staying safety-minded when it comes to your work trucks will keep you up and running.
RECALL SUMMARY RUNDOWN
In addition to checking the vehicle manufacturer for recalls and other safety issues, you can check www.edmunds.com/recalls to get a recent recall list and a summary of recalls for new and used vehicles.
With intimate knowledge of your fleet, report any defects by filing a vehicle safety complaint on www.safercar.gov. The process takes about five minutes and the online form walks you through the steps. You can also request a PDF form to be emailed to you to complete and mail in. There is even a way to track your complaint.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Donna Campbell is editor in chief of Modern WorkTruck Solutions and Modern Contractor Solutions. This monthly column will feature commentary on trending issues for work truck and transportation matters.