LOS ANGELES, March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of thousands of Southern California residents are driving recalled vehicles with defective airbag inflators that could blast shrapnel into the passenger compartment upon deployment. In response, dozens of civic and community leaders have joined together in an urgent, region-wide effort to encourage affected Southern California drivers to get a free repair.
While the recall affects as many as 42 million vehicles and 19 different automakers, the airbag inflators in certain 2001-2003 Hondas and Acuras pose the most urgent threat, with up to a 50 percent chance of exploding upon deployment. These models include the 2001 and 2002 Honda Civic, the 2001 and 2002 Honda Accord, the 2002 and 2003 Acura TL, the 2002 Honda Odyssey, the 2002 Honda CR-V, the 2003 Acura CL and the 2003 Honda Pilot. Owners of these vehicles should schedule their free repair immediately by calling Honda at 1-888-234-2138.
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."1 Any Honda or Acura dealership will provide free towing service to the dealership and perform the free repair.
At least 11 Americans – including three Californians – 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 victims from California were each driving an older, higher-risk Honda or Acura. In these and nearly all other similar 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. Thousands of these higher-risk vehicles are still on the road in Southern California, but have yet to be repaired.
Southern California leads the nation in fatalities caused by defective airbags. The risk for serious injury or death is particularly acute in Southern California due to high temperatures that exacerbate the defect in the airbag inflator. A new community mobilization effort called Airbag Recall: Southern California is educating communities across the region about the magnitude of the recall and helping affected drivers schedule life-saving, free repairs with local dealerships, where replacements parts are available for higher-risk vehicles.
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. Nationwide, as many as 70 million inflators in 42 million vehicles are or will be under recall by 2020.
Residents can find out whether their vehicle has a defective airbag inflator at www.AirbagRecall.com. If impacted by the recall, they can contact any of their automaker's nearby dealerships to schedule a free repair. Southern California 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 to confirm that their contact information is up to date so they receive recall-related updates going forward.
"Airbags save lives, but defective ones are a hazard that puts our loved ones at risk. We have to give people the information they need to protect themselves and their families. The coalition behind 'Airbag Recall: Southern California' is standing up to make sure that everyone — especially communities of color and low-income Angelenos who face the greatest danger — is aware of free resources that can help keep them safe." – Eric Garcetti, Mayor, City of Los Angeles
"The ongoing airbag recall demands immediate attention from residents across Southern California. The defect in these recalled airbags is potentially lethal. It doesn't mean an airbag will somehow fail to inflate. It means instead of simply inflating on impact, it will explode like a grenade. I urge all drivers to check their vehicles at AirbagRecall.com. This simple action could make a life-saving difference for you and your family. Once you've checked your vehicle, consider paying it forward by helping an elderly relative, neighbor or friend do the same. They may be driving one of these ticking time-bombs and be totally unaware of the life-threatening danger they face." – Aja Brown, Mayor, City of Compton
"As a Los Angeles native and in my capacity as a city councilmember, I am deeply invested in the safety and security of our community. I join so many other community leaders today in lending my voice and support to ensuring all members of our community, including diverse, low-income and under-served populations, are educated about the gravity and magnitude of the airbag recall and how to get their defective airbags repaired for free." – Curren Price Jr., Los Angeles City Councilmember, District 9
"In Southern California, many of us drive or ride in a car every day, several times a day. If your vehicle contains a defective airbag, this part of your daily life could threaten your life. To confront this issue head-on, the Valley Economic Alliance has partnered with auto-body shops throughout the area to check drivers' vehicles for outstanding recalls and to educate them on how to get their airbags replaced free of charge at a local dealership. Our organization is committed to supporting outreach efforts throughout Southern California and to helping prevent another deadly accident caused by a defective airbag inflator." – Kenn Phillips, President & CEO, Valley Economic Alliance
"It is critical that information about the airbag recall reaches all residents of the greater Los Angeles area, regardless of the neighborhood they live in or the language they speak. We must work together with local organizations to educate drivers about the airbag recall and to assure them that their privacy will be protected throughout the airbag repair process. Regardless of your immigration status or what type of vehicle you drive, visit AirbagRecall.com today. If your vehicle is impacted by the airbag recall, a dealership will fix it for free – no questions asked." – Gil Dyer, Board Director, Latin Business Association
"Our call to action for drivers across Southern California is simple: fix it, don't risk it. Even a minor fender bender can be fatal. It's too easy to fix and too dangerous to ignore. Check your VIN today at www.AirbagRecall.com." – John D. Buretta, Independent Monitor of Takata and the Coordinated Remedy Program
ABOUT AIRBAG RECALL: SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Airbag Recall: Southern California 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 residents across the region 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).
1 "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
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/more-than-one-million-defective-airbag-inflators-remain-unrepaired-in-southern-california-300429669.html
SOURCE Airbag Recall: Southern California