A few years ago I signed up for free adverse weather alerts from emergencymail.org so I can be ready for hurricanes and the infamous NJ “pre-Halloween” storms.
It’s a great site – and for more than just weather. Plus, you can tailor it to whatever state/area you live in.
Their mission: “Provide notification to citizens of local, regional, national and international critical news information utilizing the Internet, electronic mail (email) and wireless in a secure and expedient manner”.
Recently they began also providing Recall Notices as part of their program:
So far I haven’t been affected by anything in their recall lists, but each time that I receive the email notification I still make an effort to check it out as soon as possible.
One recall that I’ve paid particular attention to is the Takata Airbags. As you may know, Takata has been under fire for knowingly supplying defective airbags which have resulted in several deaths and many injuries. It’s an issue that hit home recently when a friend of mine was injured from not just one but two defective Takata airbags.
I did not know this, but on the newer Ford Mustangs there is an airbag under the driver’s seat. When the seat on my friend’s 2014 EcoBoost Mustang started to warp from the airbag under it he brought it into his local Ford dealer to have the airbag replaced. Instead of replacing it they told him everything was fine and that they were only going to replace it if there was an actual problem.
Fast forward 2-3 weeks later… He’s slowing down to a stop behind a woman at a red light when his Takata under-the-seat airbag exploded, sending metal and plastic shrapnel throughout the cabin. He ended up rolling into the car in front of him. He was already at a greatly reduced speed so no damage occurred to the nose of his car but the bump somehow caused the Takata airbag in his steering wheel to explode, sending more shrapnel at him.
He’s doing better now but you can still see the scarring from the debris. We’re all just very fortunate that this explosion didn’t occur while he was doing 65 mph down the highway. If it did, he likely wouldn’t still be with us.
Ever since then I’ve been checking and rechecking the airbag recall list to make sure none of my family’s or other friend’s vehicles are on the list. I did catch 1 car that a co-worker had just purchased from a used car dealer that had made the list. Recall notices are usually sent by car manufacturers only to vehicles’ original purchasers or those who purchase a used car directly from a branded new car dealer. But if you buy a car second-hand elsewhere you need to stay on top of the research yourself. My co-worker was completely unaware that his car came equipped with Takata airbags until I showed him the list and he contacted a local Mercedes dealer right away. Fortunately for him, Mercedes had stopped using Takata airbags in the middle of his car’s production year and his car was built after that cutover.
If you own a car produced between 1999 and 2014 I recommend that you check the list.