It’s already been declared the largest recall in history, affecting 100M vehicles and 14 manufacturers around the world, but some residents in Calgary have been told a fix is not coming any time soon.
Lorraine Whellams, who owns a 2004 Subaru Legacy, says that passenger space is at a premium in her vehicle, especially when she has all her grandchildren with her.
Thanks to the Takata airbag recall, Whellams has even less space inside her car.
Her recall letter states that no one should sit in the front passenger seat because they could be seriously injured or even killed because the metal canister that inflates the airbag could suddenly explode, showering the passenger with shrapnel.
The notice also says that it will take about a year before her vehicle will be fixed.
“I was really quite shocked that I’d have to wait 12 months to have a car repaired for a significant safety issue,” she said.
Whellams says she is worried that something else will happen sometime down the road to her or to someone else.
“They’re just waiting to see if something serious will happen and if it does, they’ll just deal with it.”
11 people have died in the United States and hundreds more have been injured because of the issue.
Officials say that the delay in repairs comes from the lack of repair kits that contain safe chemicals to handle the problem to go around.
Canada is low on the priority list of recipients too, considering that high heat and humidity increase the likelihood that the canister would explode.
Subaru, the manufacturer of Whellams’ vehicle, has fixed customer’s vehicles already through the company’s United States office, but that isn’t the case for Canadian owners.
A spokesperson told CTV that the risk to Canadian vehicles is still considered low as there have not been any cases of abnormal deployment in the country.
The company plans to start fixing vehicles in January.
Transport Canada officials agree with the plan, saying that no one has been killed or injured from recalled airbags so far.
However, the agency says that the recall situation is different depending on what car you own.
Owners of certain models of Honda and Acura cars built between 2001 and 2003 should get their airbags replaced right away.
Transport Canada says those vehicles have a higher probability of airbag ruptures.
(With files from Lea Williams-Doherty)