Report: More Than 500,000 Defective Airbags Remain Unrepaired In Georgia
Friday, April 12th, 2019
Hundreds of thousands of Georgia residents are driving recalled vehicles with dangerously defective airbags that could blast sharp metal fragments at the driver and passenger upon deployment, resulting in serious injury or death, even in a minor crash.
According to the U. S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the ongoing, urgent airbag safety recall – the largest and most complex recall in U.S. history – affects tens of millions of vehicles from 19 vehicle manufacturers, and over 200 models and model years. At least 16 Americans have been killed, and more than 300 individuals have allegedly suffered serious injuries caused by these defective airbags.
As of March 2019, at least 500,000 defective airbags in approximately 400,000 vehicles remain unrepaired in Georgia. That means 36 percent of airbags affected by the airbag recall in Georgia have yet to be repaired, even after dozens of outreach attempts by vehicle manufacturers.
This safety recall is particularly urgent for drivers of older, affected vehicles in Georgia – because prolonged exposure to high heat and humidity over time makes the defect even worse, increasing the potential for serious injury or death.
While the recall affects vehicles made by 19 different vehicle manufacturers, certain 2001-2003 Hondas and Acuras as well as certain 2006 Ford Ranger trucks and Mazda B-Series trucks are considered higher risk. NHTSA urges consumers not to drive these vehicles unless they are going straight to a dealer to have them repaired immediately.
In Georgia, more than 3,500 unrepaired airbags fall in the higher risk, 'Do Not Drive' category.
Georgia residents can find out whether their vehicle has a recalled airbag at AirbagRecall.com. If they do, they can contact any of their vehicle manufacturer's nearby dealerships to schedule a free recall repair.
The recall repair is absolutely free. Parts for higher risk vehicles are in good supply at area dealerships and many are offering free towing or loaner vehicles to accommodate affected vehicle owners.
Georgia 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 vehicle manufacturer and confirm that their contact information is up to date, so they receive recall-related updates going forward.
"These airbags are dangerous and potentially deadly," said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi R. King. "If your vehicle is under recall, I can't stress how urgent it is to immediately take it to your dealer for a free repair. It could save your life or the life of someone you love."
Affected vehicle manufacturers are undertaking a variety of outreach efforts to help alert vehicle owners affected by the recall and schedule free, potentially life-saving repairs. Examples of these efforts in Georgia include:
In an effort to locate Acura and Honda vehicles with the highest-risk inflators, American Honda Motor Company is sending teams of Honda representatives to physically knock on owners' doors in Georgia to encourage customers to respond to the recall and assist them with scheduling the free recall repairs. Replacement parts are available for all recalled Acura and Honda models, and free loaner cars are available to vehicle owners for the day of the repair.
Ford Motor Company has representatives going door-to-door in the Atlanta area to help locate certain affected vehicles.
During the month of May, the National Safety Council, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM, Nissan and Toyota are hosting Airbag Recall Repair Month in Georgia. Participating dealers are standing by to repair vehicles for free. Some dealers offer extended hours and alternative transportation. Vehicle owners can call a dealer today to schedule this urgent recall repair.
General Motors Co. is working to ensure that the 5,965 owners of unrepaired vehicles residing in the state of Georgia are made aware that their vehicle has an open airbag recall. GM continues to reach out to these owners through a variety of channels: direct mailings, emails, live phone calls, automated phone calls, text messages and online/social media advertisements.