WESTMINSTER – Hundreds of thousands of Southland motorists are risking serious injury or death because they’re driving recalled vehicles with faulty air bags, a coalition of civic and state officials said Tuesday, March 28 at City Hall.

WESTMINSTER – Hundreds of thousands of Southland motorists are risking serious injury or death because they’re driving recalled vehicles with faulty air bags, a coalition of civic and state officials said Tuesday, March 28 at City Hall.

Making stops around Southern California to get the word out that defective Takata air bag inflators could send a blast of jagged shrapnel at a driver or a passenger, they stressed how easy the problem is to resolve.

“(It) is the largest auto recall in U.S. history, and it demands immediate attention, especially here in Southern California,” said Los Angeles Councilman Curren Price. “More than one million defective air bag inflators in Southern California remain unrepaired, putting far too many members of our community at risk.”

  1. How many vehicles are affected?
  2. The federal recall now covers 70 million air bags in as many as 42 million vehicles from 19 automakers.

Takata, a Japanese automobile-part manufacturer, first recalled some of its air bags nearly a decade ago. Hundreds of thousands of affected vehicles are still cruising along Southern California’s roadways.

In January, Takata agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy and wire-fraud charges after the U.S. Department of Justice said the company deceived automakers about the safety of its products. Takata is expected to pay a $1 billion penalty.

  1. Has anyone been hurt?
  2. Yes. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 11 deaths are blamed on the bags, including three in California, and there have been more than 180 injuries ranging from lacerations to broken bones and shattered teeth.
  3. How do I figure out if my vehicle needs a new air bag?

  4. Perhaps you received a notification. If not, visit airbagrecall.com. You’ll be prompted to upload your license-plate number or your vehicle’s identification number (the VIN) and click the “check my vehicle” button. The web site will tell you if your vehicle is affected.

For motorists without web access, call your local automotive dealer and ask if your vehicle is impacted.

Automobile manufacturers will replace the air bags for free – in some cases offering to come to you with a flatbed, carting the vehicle to a licensed dealer and returning it. Some dealers will offer free transportation while your vehicle is in the shop.

  1. Are some vehicles’ air bags more dangerous than others?
  2. Absolutely, says the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The air bags in these vehicles, the federal agency says, have up to a 50-percent chance of malfunctioning if triggered:

  • Honda Accords, 2001 and 2002.
  • Honda Civics, 2001 and 2002.
  • Honda Pilots, 2003.
  • Acura TL/CLs, 2002 and 2003.
  • Honda Odysseys, 2002.
  • Honda CR-Vs, 2002.

Owners of these vehicles are advised to schedule a free repair, immediately, by calling 800-234-2138.

  1. What were the circumstances surrounding the last death tied to the air bags?
  2. Araceli Cazales, a Santa Ana resident, explained at the press conference what occurred to a friend driving 2001 Honda Civic that was in a Riverside accident; police said a Chevy Colorado pickup truck turned in front of her friend.

“It’s Friday, and you go about your normal day,” Cazales said. “Then you leave work, and on your way home you decide to stop and get a flu shot. But before you make it to the clinic, you get into a minor fender-bender. …

“You are only driving 25 miles an hour. But your air bag explodes and shoots sharp pieces of metal toward your face and neck. These are the circumstances under which my friend Delia Robles lost her life.”

By Joshua Sudock and Kevin Smith, OC Register

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/air-747806-vehicle-bags.html

 

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorneyclient relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.