With a national recall of defective airbags in more than 24 million vehicles, drivers are worrying corrective measures are not coming fast enough. New rounds of recall letters are hitting mailboxes as the death toll has climbed to at least eleven; however, a number of letters that warn many South Florida drivers for the first time about defects that can kill them also say something else that could frustrate them: replacement parts will not be available until an unspecified point in the summer.
At least one automaker, Honda, is agreeing to make rentals or loaners available—if consumers ask for them. Yet, reports show there is an extensive waiting list for rentals, making the plan unreasonable. Honda has repaired more than 45 percent of the 12.2 million Takata airbag inflators it has recalled in approximately 8.5 million Honda and Acura vehicles.
Yet the growing list of deaths blamed on defective airbags is only adding to a sense of urgency. Further, the count is just for deaths related to metal fragments from inflator ruptures. The list does not include Patricia Mincey of Jacksonville, who died recently after sustaining catastrophic injuries two years ago that left her a quadriplegic when the airbag in her Honda Civic inflated forcefully during a minor collision.
This comes on the heels of a Texas teenager Huma Hanif’s death after the airbag inflator in her 2002 Honda Civic erupted and sent deadly metal fragments flying. The car was moving at 15 mph at the time of the crash.
It is already a recall of epic proportions, by some measures the largest in U.S. automotive history. The numbers have fluctuated, but the largest estimates are that more than 28 million airbags in more than 24 million U.S. vehicles are subject to recall. More than 7.5 million airbags have been repaired, but U.S. regulators say 85 million unrecalled Takata airbags may eventually need to be recalled unless the company can prove they are safe.
Florida is considered a high-priority area because high humidity is suspected of contributing to the risk of airbag failures. For drivers, the issue can seem like a distant concern until they are personally affected. Now a growing number are getting letters with phrases they find difficult to ignore: “metal fragments could pass through the airbag cushion possibly causing serious injury or fatality to you or others in your vehicle.”
So what can you do?
- Drivers are supposed to receive airbag recall notices from manufacturers for affected vehicles, but victims and families in more than one incident said they never got such word.
- Consumers can check here to see if their make and model year of the car is affected:
Whether you’ve been injured in an auto or trucking accident, motorcycle accident, slip or fall, dog bite, or if your loved one has been the victim of a wrongful death accident, you deserve to have a powerful and proven Florida Personal Injury Lawyer defending your rights. Before you speak with an insurance company, contact me for a free consultation. I will make sure that you are not bullied or rushed into making a decision, and you will not owe anything unless I win your case. Don’t delay in contacting me today at any of my four offices in Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, and Okeechobee. Call 866-460-1990.