Air bag outrage
Vehicles from 19 car makers at risk
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,