FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., April 20, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hundreds of thousands of Broward County residents are driving recalled vehicles with dangerously defective airbag inflators that could blast shrapnel into the passenger compartment upon impact. To address this urgent public safety issue, this week community leaders from across Broward County are launching Airbag Recall: Greater Ft. Lauderdale – a coalition committed to raising awareness about the recall and ensuring that residents understand how to check if their vehicle is impacted at AirbagRecall.com.
Airbag Recall: Greater Ft. Lauderdale will officially launch with its "Days of Action" event beginning this weekend. From April 22 – 24, members of Airbag Recall: Greater Ft. Lauderdale will host events throughout Broward County to help drivers check their vehicles and set up free repairs at local dealerships.
At least 11 Americans – including one Floridian – have been killed by defective airbag inflators, and approximately 180 Americans have suffered serious injuries, including cuts or lacerations to the face or neck, broken or fractured facial bones, loss of eyesight, and broken teeth. The individual from Florida who died was driving an older, higher-risk vehicle. In this and nearly all other cases in the United States, the fatal airbag explosion was triggered by a minor collision that the driver should have been able to walk away from. The risk for serious injury or death is particularly acute in South Florida due to high temperatures and humidity that exacerbate the defect in the airbag inflator.
While the recall affects vehicles from more than a dozen automakers, drivers of some older vehicles face an even greater risk. These models include 2001 and 2002 Honda Civics and Accords, the 2002 and 2003 Acura TL, the 2002 Honda Odyssey and CR-V, the 2003 Acura CL and the 2003 Honda Pilot. Thousands of these higher-risk vehicles are still on the road, but have yet to be repaired.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, "with as high as a 50 percent chance of a dangerous air bag inflator rupture in a crash, these vehicles are unsafe and need to be repaired immediately."
The replacement airbag is absolutely free. Parts for higher-risk vehicles are in good supply at area dealerships and free towing is available.
Airbag Recall: Greater Ft. Lauderdale represents an extension of Airbag Recall: Miami-Dade, an effort launched earlier this Spring aimed at alerting drivers of the prevalence of deadly, explosive airbags throughout Dade County. Together, the coalitions are educating the public about the magnitude of the recall and helping affected drivers schedule life-saving, free repairs with local dealerships, immediately. Automakers are notifying at-risk drivers and South Florida dealerships are replacing defective airbag inflators for free.
In addition, as part of ongoing efforts to address this recall, on Dec. 9, 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a new repair prioritization plan designed to accelerate the availability of replacement parts for vehicles impacted by the recall.
Local residents can find out whether their vehicle has a defective airbag inflator at AirbagRecall.com. If impacted by the recall, they can contact any of their automaker's nearby dealerships to schedule a free repair.
South Florida 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 receive recall-related updates going forward.
"Our call to action for drivers across South Florida is simple: fix it, don't risk it. Even a minor fender bender can be fatal. It's imperative – and easy – to look up your VIN now at AirbagRecall.com," said John D. Buretta, Independent Monitor of Takata and the Coordinated Remedy Program.
April 22 – 24 Broward County VIN-check Events:
SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2017
EVENT: City of Miramar Earth Day Celebration & VIN Check
TIME: 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. EST
LOCATION: Miramar Community Garden, 3700 Largo Drive, Miramar, FL 33023
EVENT: Family Fun & Resource Fair (Broward Aware!) & VIN Check, hosted by Children's Services Council of Broward County Florida
TIME: 11 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST
LOCATION: Rev. Samuel Delevoe Memorial Park, 2520 NW 6th St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
EVENT: Heal the Planet Day VIN Check
TIME: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST
LOCATION: Esplanade Park 400 SW 2nd St., Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 33312
SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 2017
EVENT: New Hope Baptist Church Sunday Worship Services & VIN Check
TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST
LOCATION: 1321 Sistrunk Boulevard, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33311
EVENT: Koinonia Worship Center Sunday Worship Services & VIN Check
TIME: 7:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. EST
LOCATION: 4900 Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hollywood, FL 33024
EVENT: Broward County Sierra Club Earth Day Event & VIN Check
TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST
LOCATION: Anne Kolb Nature Center, 751 Sheridan Street in Hollywood, Florida 33020
MONDAY, APRIL 24, 2017
EVENT: Broward College South Campus VIN Check
TIME: 11:00 a.m. EST
LOCATION: 7200 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
EVENT: Broward College Open House VIN Check
TIME: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. EST
- LOCATION 1: Miramar West 1930 SW 145th Ave, Miramar, FL 33027
- TIME 1: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. EST
- LOCATION 2: Downtown Center 111 E Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
- TIME 2: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. EST
ABOUT AIRBAG RECALL: GREATER FT. LAUDERDALE:
Airbag Recall: Greater Ft. Lauderdale comprises community organizations, public interest groups, private companies, elected officials, faith communities and other concerned parties unified in the effort to raise consumer awareness about the ongoing airbag inflator recall. Participants are committed to educating the residents of Broward county about the risks associated with defective airbag inflators, helping affected drivers schedule free repairs and accelerating recall completion rates in the area. To determine if your car has a defective airbag inflator, visit www.AirbagRecall.com and enter your vehicle identification number (VIN).
 "NHTSA: New test data on particular subset of Takata air bag inflator show substantially higher risk." The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. June 30, 2016. http://www.nhtsa.gov/About-NHTSA/Press-Releases/nhtsa_takata_high_risk_inflators_06302016
SOURCE Airbag Recall: Greater Ft. Lauderdale