CARFAX Warns Drivers: Check for Deadly Airbag Recalls Before You Travel for Holidays

Millions of Vehicles on the Road Need Replacement Airbags

CENTREVILLE, Va. (November 17, 2020) – CARFAX estimates there are about 16 million airbags in vehicles on the road today with an open safety recall. More than 11 million of those are Takata airbags – subject of the largest recall action in US history – but a CARFAX review of available data estimates there are vehicles with another 5 million airbags from other suppliers that need to be replaced under recall orders. This warning comes as several recent deaths have been attributed to defective airbag inflators. As holiday travel season approaches, it’s critical that owners check to see if there are any open recalls on their vehicles.

“Unfortunately, the recent deaths related to defective airbags underscore the critical importance of closing any open recalls,” said Faisal Hasan, General Manager of Data at CARFAX. “As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we know people may be taking road trips to visit family and loved ones. We strongly encourage all car owners to check for open recalls. It’s free to check and free to get repairs, and it’s a vital step in making our roads safer for everyone.”

Eighteen people have been killed in the United States, and more than 250 injured, from defective Takata airbag inflators exploding. Problems with how those airbags work have led to 63 million inflators being recalled. In addition, one man was recently killed in a similar incident that resulted in the recall of 2001-2003 Volvo S60 and S80 cars that have airbags from automotive supplier ZF/TRW.

CARFAX data shows the number of vehicles with open safety recalls is rising, after two consecutive years of declines. There are more than 55.7 million recalled vehicles on the road today that haven’t been repaired, up 5% from 2019.

Recalls are issued regularly by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in conjunction with automakers. CARFAX Car Care is a free service that can continuously monitor your vehicles for open recalls, after you’ve entered your license plate or VIN information. CARFAX alerts car owners when a recall is issued for their registered vehicles. Recall repairs are free, and often can be completed in only a few hours.

CARFAX offers a free tool for car owners to check if their vehicle has an open recall at

CARFAX also partners with the Alliance for Automotive Innovation to provide the Vehicle Recall Search Service (VRSS) for commercial and government entities, like state departments of motor vehicles (DMVs), auto insurers and finance companies, to search for open recalls for thousands of autos at once, free of charge.

Editor’s note: A CARFAX representative is available for interviews. Please contact Emilie Voss at or call 703-934-2664 ext. 4462.


CARFAX, part of IHS Markit (NYSE: INFO), helps millions of people every day confidently shop, buy, service and sell used cars with innovative solutions powered by CARFAX vehicle history information. The expert in vehicle history since 1984, CARFAX provides exclusive services like CARFAX Used Car Listings, CARFAX Car Care, CARFAX History-Based Value and the flagship CARFAX® Vehicle History Report™ to consumers and the automotive industry. CARFAX owns the world’s largest vehicle history database and is nationally recognized as a top workplace by The Washington Post and Shop, Buy, Service, Sell – Show me the CARFAX™. Based in London, IHS Markit is a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.