LOS ANGELES, June 11, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, members of Airbag Recall: Southern California and automakers affected by the ongoing airbag recall announced the launch of Airbag Recall: Operation Find & Fix, a new intensive, collaborative outreach program aimed at remedying potentially deadly, recalled airbags in San Fernando Valley vehicles.
According to the Independent Monitor of Takata and the Coordinated Remedy Program, California ranks highest in unrepaired airbag inflators impacted by the airbag recalls, with more than 2.5 million defective inflators still in need of repair across the state.
The new, targeted program – which will involve daily outreach to Valley drivers through frequent recall-check events and other community-based efforts – will seek to raise awareness of the recall and increase airbag repair rates across three communities in San Fernando Valley: Sylmar, Pacoima and Sun Valley. In these three zip codes alone, tens of thousands of drivers have vehicles with unrepaired defective airbags that can explode like a grenade upon impact, blasting sharp metal fragments into the passenger compartment.
While the Takata airbag recalls impact 19 automakers, certain 2001-2003 Hondas and Acuras, as well as 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series trucks, pose the most urgent threat and are unsafe to drive. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, defective airbag inflators in 2001-2003 Hondas and Acuras pose up to a 50 percent or higher chance of exploding upon deployment.
At least 15 people – including three from Southern California – have been killed by defective airbag inflators, and more than 220 Americans have suffered injuries, including cuts or lacerations to the face or neck, broken or fractured facial bones, loss of eyesight and broken teeth. The risk for serious injury or death is particularly acute in Southern California due to the region's high temperatures and humidity, which over time exacerbate the defect.
The repair is absolutely free. Parts for higher-risk vehicles are in good supply at area dealerships, and free towing is available.
Local residents can find out if their vehicle has a defective airbag inflator by visiting AirbagRecall.com. If their vehicle is affected, they can use the website to locate a local dealership and schedule a free repair. They can also check their vehicle by using the free Airbag Recall app, now available on Google Play or iTunes. The easy-to-use app provides all the same information as the website, plus it allows users to scan license plates directly from their device.
San Fernando Valley residents who may be waiting for replacement parts for their vehicle, or who are not affected by the current recall, are also encouraged to call their local dealer and confirm their contact information is up-to-date so they can receive recall-related updates going forward.
"The urgency of the ongoing Takata airbag recall cannot be overstated. This recall is an important public safety issue for all Americans, but it is especially critical for drivers in Southern California, where prolonged exposure to heat and humidity exacerbates the defect. Check your vehicle VIN and schedule a free repair appointment with your dealer today. Every defective Takata airbag under recall will be replaced for FREE. These simple steps could save your life." – Heidi King, Deputy Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
"Tens of thousands of San Fernando Valley residents are still driving vehicles with defective airbag inflators. As a Neighborhood Council President, keeping our community safe is my top priority. That's why I'm working with automakers and my fellow members of Airbag Recall: Southern California to ramp up efforts to help drivers in these communities get their vehicles fixed and prevent additional tragedies from happening on our roads. I urge all Southern Californians, regardless of what you drive, to check you and your family's vehicles at www.AirbagRecall.com. You could save a life." – Christian Rubalcava, President, Sylmar Neighborhood Council
"Our hope is that by embracing the Airbag Recall: Operation Find & Fix program, Sylmar, Pacoima and Sun Valley can serve as a model and inspiration for communities across the region and the country on how to protect drivers from injury or death caused by defective airbags." – Pastor Rev. Robert Garon, St. Didacus Catholic Church (Sylmar)
"Spread the word and save a life. If a vehicle contains a defective airbag, even a minor collision can be fatal. It's too easy to fix and too dangerous to ignore. Check your license plate or VIN today at www.AirbagRecall.com." – John D. Buretta, Independent Monitor of Takata and the Coordinated Remedy Program
ABOUT AIRBAG RECALL
Airbag Recall is an effort supported by community organizations, public interest groups, private companies, elected officials, faith communities and other concerned parties to raise consumer awareness about the ongoing airbag inflator recall. Participants are committed to educating individuals about the risks associated with defective airbag inflators, helping affected drivers schedule free repairs and accelerating recall completion rates. To determine if your car has a defective airbag inflator, visit www.AirbagRecall.com and enter your vehicle identification number (VIN).
SOURCE Airbag Recall