The defective airbags can explode AT ANY TIME (not just during a collision) with much more force than they are supposed to, and hurl shrapnel at you. Because of their chemistry, the air bags become less stable over time.
List of models affected:
You can look up whether your car is affected using its VIN here: https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/vinLookup
Here's a long article that goes into the chemistry and the corporate hubris behind the whole thing. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-06-02/sixty-million-car-bombs-inside-takata-s-air-bag-crisis
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