Tens of millions vehicle air bags, known as Takata air bags, have been recalled due to a serious safety defect. In the event that the air bags deploy, sharp metal fragments can explode from the air bag toward vehicle passengers. Takata air bags can become more dangerous over time, especially in areas with high heat and humidity.
This defect has claimed the lives of at least 18 drivers in the United States, and caused nearly 300 injuries to drivers and passengers—including lacerations to the face, neck, arms and chest, vision loss, and hearing impairment. Presently, there are still thousands of vehicles with unrepaired Takata air bags that are owned by individuals residing on reservations and surrounding areas. Often, these air bags are in vehicles for which the vehicle manufacturer may not have accurate information to contact vehicle owners. Raising awareness about this urgent air bag safety recall may help save a life. Recalled Takata air bags were installed in BMW, Daimler Vans, Daimler Trucks, FCA, Ferrari, Fisker, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, McLaren, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, and Volkswagen vehicles.
Kil-Jae Hong is a Marketing Specialist in the Office of Communications and Consumer Information at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In this position, Ms. Hong conducts market research, develops communications strategies and implements public service and advertising campaigns for multiple programs including Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving, If You Feel Different, You Drive Different, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over impaired driving campaigns. She also manages Safe Cars Save Lives focusing on vehicle recalls, Move Over, It’s the Law for law enforcement and emergency service vehicles, and Vehicle Theft Prevention. Ms. Hong holds a Master of Public Administration degree from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University.
Dr. Stephen Ridella
Dr. Stephen Ridella is Director of the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). His office is responsible for the investigation, inspection and testing necessary to identify and correct safety-related defects in motor vehicles and equipment. ODI also oversees and manages all motor vehicle and equipment recalls from notification through completion. In addition to this position, in his 14 years at NHTSA, Stephen has been Division Chief of Human Injury Research as well as the Director of the Office of Vehicle Crashworthiness Research.
Prior to joining NHTSA, Stephen held industry engineering and management positions at the General Motors Research Labs doing crash injury research, EASi Engineering coordinating projects in occupant simulation and TRW Automotive (now ZF) conducting vehicle safety and restraint systems design and performance. He has published extensively on safety issues including crash data analysis, vehicle and occupant crash simulation techniques, and impact injury research throughout his career.
Stephen holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Microbiology and Bioengineering respectively from the University of Michigan. He also holds a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University in Detroit and a PhD in Machine and Vehicle Systems from the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences at Chalmers Technological University in Gothenburg, Sweden.