US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration

Takata Airbag Recall


In what the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history,” vehicles made by 19 different automakers have been recalled to replace frontal airbags on the driver’s side or passenger’s side. The airbags, made by Takata, were installed in cars mostly from model years 2002 through 2015. Some of those airbags could deploy explosively, injuring or even killing car occupants. In 2016, Street Level Strategy was contracted to locate and work with affected vehicle owners to facilitate an airbag repair. The core challenge was locating owners of vehicles from model years 2002 to 2008 as these vehicles typically changed ownership multiple times.


Our team utilized a wide range of approaches to identify and make contact with affected vehicle owners and facilitate repairs. This included door-to-door canvassing, crowd canvassing at community events, and building partnerships with trusted community messengers and community based organizations. We utilized available data to target outreach efforts in communities with high concentrations of affected vehicles. In addition, the outreach teams reflected the communities they worked with. Outreach was conducted in multiple languages and messaging was culturally competent.


Our team has coordinated outreach and education with over 200 community stakeholders, elected officials, non-profit organizations, schools, churches, and small businesses. Since the fall of 2016, SLS has checked tens of thousands of cars, identified thousands of cars affected by the recall, and facilitated the repair of thousands of vehicles.