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NHTSA Deputy Administrator King Urges South Florida Drivers to Check Vehicles for Defective Air Bags - Immediately

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King joins safety leaders in Florida urging residents to check their Vehicle Identification Number for Unrepaired Recalled Takata Air Bags

Today, Heidi King, Deputy Administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, joined automakers and South Florida community leaders to urge Floridians to check their vehicle identification (VIN) numbers to see if their vehicles are under recall for defective Takata air bags. South Florida is part of the highest risk area of the country. Therefore, vehicles in this region have been prioritized to get repair parts first. 

“I am deeply concerned over the high number of unrepaired defective air bags in vehicles here in South Florida,” said King. “I cannot stress strongly enough the urgency of this recall – these air bags can be deadly. If your vehicle is under recall, do not delay in getting it to your dealer for a free repair. It could save your life or the life of someone you love.”

At least 23 deaths and more than 300 injuries worldwide are linked to Takata air bags that have exploded, unleashing metal shrapnel inside cars and trucks. Three Floridians were among those killed. In most cases, the fatal air bag explosion was triggered by a fender bender from which the person injured or killed should have been able to walk away.

NHTSA also remains concerned that owners of certain higher-risk Model Year 2006 Ford Rangers and Mazda B-Series trucks with defective Takata air bags have not gotten the free repair quickly enough, if at all.  These vehicles are under a “do not drive” warning and the air bags must be replaced immediately. Last month, NHTSA issued a second public plea to owners to schedule the free repair immediately for their own safety and the protection of their loved ones.

The Takata air bag recall is the largest and most complex vehicle recall in U.S. history, involving 19 vehicle manufacturers, 37 million U.S. vehicles, and approximately 50 million air bags. In Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, there are nearly 459,000 vehicles with unrepaired air bags.

For Florida press materials, click here

NHTSA urges all drivers to stay informed and safe by taking the following five actions:

  1. Visit NHTSA.gov/recalls to find out if your car or truck is under recall. Search using your VIN.  Your search result will tell you if your car or truck is included in this or any other safety recall at this time. Vehicles scheduled for future recalls will not show up in this search, so it is important that you check regularly, at least twice per year.
  2. If your vehicle does have a recall, call your local dealer to schedule the free repair. Just remember that in the Takata air bag recalls, there are priority groups; parts are only available for certain vehicles starting on certain dates.
  3. Sign up at NHTSA.gov/Alerts to be notified by e-mail if your vehicle is affected by a future recall.
  4. Get answers to frequently asked questions at NHTSA.gov/takata.
  5. Help spread the word: share NHTSA’s consumer fact sheet and video with friends and family.

Stay connected with NHTSA: Search for open recalls at NHTSA.gov/Recalls | Receive recall alerts by e-mail | Visit us on Facebook.com/NHTSA | Follow us on Twitter.com/NHTSAgov | Watch 5-Star Safety Ratings crash tests on YouTube.com/USDOTNHTSA.

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