Air bag out­rage

Ve­hi­cles from 19 car mak­ers at risk

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Ron Hurt­ibise Staff writer AIR BAGS, 7B

Broward events spot­light con­tin­u­ing risks to driv­ers.

Driv­ers of a se­lect group of Honda and Acura ve­hi­cles from the early 2000s re­main in crit­i­cal dan­ger of be­ing hurt or killed by im­prop­erly in­flat­ing air bags, a non-profit safety coali­tion is warn­ing.

In Broward County, more than 200,000 ve­hi­cles from19 car mak­ers are at risk as well if they haven’t yet had de­fec­tive Takata air bags re­placed, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease fro­man ef­fort call­ing it­self The Airbag Fort Laud­erdale.

Broward County ve­hi­cle own­ers are be­ing urged to par­tic­i­pate in one of sev­eral ve­hi­cle-iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber [VIN] “check events” planned through­out the county thisweek­end.

Driv­ers should stop in at one of the events and a vol­un­teer will check their VIN num­ber to see if an air bag re­call has been is­sued for their ve­hi­cle. If one has, the vol­un­teer will help di­rect driv­ers to a deal­er­ship that will re­place their re­called air bags for free.

Re­call checks are also avail­able by go­ing to the web­site airba­gre­call. and en­ter­ing the car’s VIN num­ber or li­cense tag num­ber. Re­call: Greater

The ef­fort is part of a na­tion­wide com­pli­ance cam­paign or­ga­nized by the In­de­pen­den­tMon­i­tor ofTakata and the Co­or­di­nated Rem­edy Pro­gram, which was cre­ated as part of the Na­tional High­way Traf­fic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s set­tle­ment with Takata in late 2015.

NHTSA first is­sued a re­call or­der for cars with the de­fec­tive air bags in 2015 and so far 69 mil­lion have been re­placed, the Associated Press re­ported.

In Novem­ber 2015, NHTSA finedTakata a record$200mil­lion for build­ing and sell­ing de­fec­tive prod­ucts, re­fus­ing to ac­knowl­edge the de­fect, and fail­ing to pro­vide full in­for­ma­tion to the ad­min­is­tra­tion, its cus­tomers and the pub­lic.

Last year, NHTSA iden­ti­fied seven Honda and Acura mod­els that lab tests in­di­cated have air bags at high risk of rup­tur­ing when de­ployed, even in mi­nor fen­der ben­ders. They are: 2001 and 2002 Honda Civic; 2001 and 2002 Honda Ac­cord; 2002 and 2003 Acura TL; 2002 Honda Odyssey; 2002 Honda CR-V; 2003 Acura CL; and 2003 Honda Pi­lot

The air bag in­fla­tors in the Honda and Acura mod­els con­tain a man­u­fac­tur­ing de­fect that can cause the bag to rup­ture and send metal shrap­nel parts slic­ing into car oc­cu­pants, NHTSA said.

Eleven Amer­i­cans, in­clud­ing an el­derly Jack­sonville woman, have been killed by the de­fec­tive in­fla­tors, while about180have suf­fered se­ri­ous in­juries — cuts or lac­er­a­tions to the face or neck, bro­ken or frac­tured fa­cial bones, loss of eyesight and bro­ken teeth.

The Florida vic­tim be­came par­a­lyzed from the neck down af­ter an air bag in her 2001 Honda Civic ex­ploded in a low-speed crash. She died last year from com­pli­ca­tions of quadriple­gia.

The re­call in ef­fect since 2015 in­volves ve­hi­cles from a wide range of man­u­fac­tur­ers that in­stalled Takata airbags, in­clud­ing BMW, Fiat-Chrysler, Daim­ler, Ford, Gen­eral Motors, Mazda,

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