DALLAS — Over 500,000 North Texas residents are driving recalled vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbag inflators, according to Airbag Recall, a website setup by the Takata Corp. to inform consumers about the recall. The company is urging drivers of these vehicles to have their vehicles repaired immediately.
So far, 11 people in the U.S. have been killed by defective airbag inflators. In addition, approximately 180 U.S. drivers 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 corporation’s website stated.
The recall affects vehicles from more than a dozen automakers, the announcement stated. However, drivers of some older vehicles are at an even greater risk. These older vehicles include 2001 and 2002 Honda Civics and Accords, 2002 and 2003 Acura TL, 2002 Honda Odyssey and CR-V, 2003 Acura CL, and the 2003 Honda Pilot.
“With as high as a 50% chance of a dangerous air bag inflator rupture in a crash, these vehicles are unsafe and need to be repaired immediately,” said Anthony Foxx, U.S. transportation secretary.
Drivers in Texas, according to the organization, have an above-average risk to the airbag’s defect due to higher temperatures and humidity — which the state is known for — exacerbating the defect. A community mobilization effort called “Airbag Recall: North Texas” is educating the public about the severity of the recall and helping drivers schedule the free repairs with local dealerships.
"In North Texas, many of us drive or ride in a car several times a day, every day. If your vehicle contains a defective airbag, this part of your daily life could threaten your life. The good news is that getting your airbag inflator replaced is quick, easy and free of charge,” said Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez. “All vehicle owners should visit www.AirbagRecall.com or www.SaferCar.gov for information about any open safety recall on their vehicle and what they can do to have a defective airbag inflator replaced free of charge."
On Friday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also issued a new repair prioritization plan designed to accelerate the availability of replacement parts for vehicles impacted by the recall.
"The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is doing everything possible to make sure that there are no more preventable injuries or deaths because of these dangerous air bag inflators," said Mark Rosekind, NHTSA administrator. "All vehicle owners should regularly check their vehicles for recalls and go get them fixed at no cost as soon as replacement parts are available."