As a GM and Subaru dealer employee, especially since I am in the parts department, I have to deal with many Takata recall questions. Most of them from confused customers wondering why it is taking to long to get their parts.

I.E.

Cust: I got a letter saying the parts were going to be a while to get, but I haven’t heard anything back yet

Me: Yes Sir/Mam, did you call us and set up an order when you recived the letter?

Cust: What? No the letter said I was on the list to get one. I have been waiting.

Me: Well actually it stated you would need to contact the dealer to initate an order for your vehicle. We can do that today, but I must inform you they take 1-2 months to recieve as we are not a high humidity state and they are very heavily backordered.

Cust: Oh, well thank you very much

(Proceed to get customer info and create order)

Here is what one of the Subaru letter looks like:

Recall Letter for 04-05 WRX/STI

Do you see the BIG BOLD BOX? The one telling you what you need to do. The one that is on every version of this letter!!! You have to contact your dealer. The other part of this is that most of these confused people think we send out the letters. That is not the case. The manufacture sends them, because they have the affected vehicles lists and thus the DMV information to mail the letters to the current registered owners. Also if you received some letter about a recall, why assume that your now local dealer would have it on order for you? How would Subaru be able to know which dealer you like the most? Maybe you prefer the one across town. Maybe you just vacation here and it is registered here, but you take it home with you for major services. They don’t know this, we don’t know all the affected vehicles and the multiple letters you have received have all told you to “contact your Subaru retailer (dealer) for an appointment to have the front passenger airbag inflator replaced with a new one.” So do people just not read this very important document about a SAFETY RECALL on their vehicle?

Do you see why I don’t understand why people are confused about this? I swear I answer at least 4 of these calls a day. Which just puts them at the end of our almost 200 customer order list for these inflators.

Which brings me to another point. The passenger air bag recall is actually due to the inflator. This is because the accelerant contained in the inflator degrades over time and eats away and the metal canister, making it unable to contain the explosion and ruptures when activated. This means the fix for the recall is to replace the inflator and the airbag stays in the vehicle. Just a new canister on the passenger.

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Passenger Inflator

Completely separate from the airbag its self and is replaced as such. Now this is for the passenger airbag recall. As far as I know, there are no driver airbag recalls, because that system is a completely different setup.

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Diver Airbag without and with inflator attached

I just thought everyone who was affected by these recalls may be interested in some more in depth information and I needed to vent a little bit.

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EDIT: Apparently there are some driver side inflators being recalled too, but I can’t find any info on one side more than the other.