At least eight Houstonians and 220 Americans have suffered injuries from defective Takata airbags.
Injuries include cuts, lacerations; broken or fractured facial bones; loss of eyesight and broken teeth due to defective Takata airbags.
Houston's “Airbag Recall: Operation Find & Fix program” will involve daily outreach to Fort Bend County drivers through frequent recall-check events and other community-based efforts
At least 15 people - including a Houstonian have been killed by defective airbags. Fort Bend County Sheriff’s OfficeSergeant Danny Beckworth explained what happened to a Ft. Bend resident who bled to death after an airbag exploded.
“The defective inflators will fragment if they’re on a low-impact collision. If the airbag goes off, those inflators will fragment like a grenade and it will send out shrapnel like a bullet from a gun,” said Beckworth. “Those fragments have been going all the way through the airbag, hitting people in the face, the chest and the neck. In this case, the one we worked, where it hit Houma in the neck, stuck in her neck and severed her carotid, and jugular.”
Prolonged exposure to high heat and humidity degrades the chemical propellant in a defective airbag inflator over time, which makes the product more explosive and increases the risk of serious injury.
The risk of serious injury or death is particularly acute in Texas, due to the state’s high temperatures and humidity.
“If it’s a recalled VIN, you can take it in, get the airbag repaired, and if you can’t afford to be without a car, a lot of dealerships will give you a loaner car while they fix that airbag,” said Beckworth. “If you have family members, maybe an elderly person that still drives, that they need to get their VIN checked and they may not have the ability to do it. Get on there, get the VIN, plug the VIN number in for them, and help them get that repair fixed.”
In Sugar Land, Missouri City and Sienna Plantation, alone, tens of thousands of drivers have vehicles with unrepaired defective airbags that can explode like a grenade upon impact, blasting sharp metal fragments into the passenger compartment.
While the Takata airbag recalls impact 19 automakers, certain 2001-2003 Hondas and Acuras as well as 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series trucks are considered high-risk, and are unsafe to drive. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, defective airbags in 2001-2003 Hondas and Acuras pose up to a 50 percent or higher chance of exploding upon deployment.
You can find out if your vehicle has a defective airbag by visiting AirbagRecall.com.
The repair is absolutely free.