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Report: More Than 200,000 Dangerously Defective Airbags Remain Unrepaired In Louisiana

Drivers across the state urged to check vehicles at AirbagRecall.com, schedule free, potentially life-saving recall repairs at local dealerships

BATON ROUGE, La., Aug. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 200,000 Louisiana residents are driving recalled vehicles with dangerously defective airbags that could blast sharp metal fragments at drivers and passengers 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 Takata airbag safety recall – the largest and most complex recall in U.S. history – affects tens of millions of vehicles from 19 vehicle manufacturers and more than 200 models and model years. At least 16 Americans – including two from Louisiana – have been killed, and more than 300 individuals have suffered serious injuries allegedly caused by these defective airbags.

On April 5, 2015, Kylan Langlinais was driving in Lafayette, LA when her 2005 Honda Civic crashed into a utility pole, causing her defective airbag inflator to explode. Langlinais died four days later due to metal shrapnel from the explosion piercing her right carotid artery. The second fatality in Louisiana occurred on July 10, 2017, when George Robertson "Rob" Sharp Jr. was driving in Baton Rouge, LA when his 2004 Honda Civic was involved in a collision that caused the defective airbag in Sharp's vehicle to explode. Sharp survived the collision, but suffered an open fracture of his larynx and later died in the hospital.

As of July 2019, of the approximately 500,000 airbags on the road in Louisiana that were initially identified as containing these dangerously defective inflators, roughly 200,000 – or about 36 percent— remain unrepaired in around 100,000 vehicles, even after as many as dozens of outreach attempts by vehicle manufacturers.

This safety recall is particularly urgent for drivers of older, affected vehicles in Louisiana – 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. The specific 'Do Not Drive' models are listed below:   

  • 2001-2002 Honda Civic
  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord
  • 2002-2003 Acura TL
  • 2002 Honda CR-V
  • 2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003 Acura CL
  • 2003 Honda Pilot
  • Certain 2006 Ford Ranger
  • Certain 2006 Mazda B-Series

In Louisiana, more than 400 unrepaired airbags fall into the higher risk, 'Do Not Drive' category.

Louisiana 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.

Louisiana 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 Louisiana include:

  • In Louisiana, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles ("FCA US"), vehicle manufacturer of Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and RAM vehicles, is contacting owners of unrepaired vehicles to inform them that their vehicle has an open urgent airbag safety recall. FCA US communicates the urgency of having the vehicle repaired as soon as possible, for FREE, at any authorized dealership through direct mailings, emails, live phone calls, automated phone calls, text messages and online/social media advertisements.
  • General Motors is working to ensure that the 3,400 unrepaired owners residing in Louisiana are made aware that their vehicle has an open urgent airbag safety recall. GM continues to communicate to these owners through a variety of channels: direct mailings, emails, live phone calls, automated phone calls, text messages and online/social media advertisements. GM vehicles affected include: 2007-2008 Chevrolet Silverado HD; 2007-2008 GMC Sierra HD; 2003-2010 Pontiac Vibe; 2008-2009 Saturn Astra; 2005-2006 Saab 9-2X; 2006-2011 Saab 9-3; and 2006-2009 Saab 9-5.
  • Mitsubishi continues to urge owners, by mail, telephone, and email, of 2004-2007 Lancer, 2006-2009 Raider, and 2012-2017 i-MiEV vehicles to have the recall performed for FREE. Many owners are offered a $50 VISA gift card for completion of recall by August 31, 2019.

For more information about these and other efforts by affected vehicle manufacturers, please visit:

ABOUT AIRBAG RECALL

Airbag Recall is a program supported by community organizations, public interest groups, private companies, elected officials, faith communities and other concerned parties to raise consumer awareness about the ongoing urgent airbag safety recall. Participants are committed to educating individuals about the risks associated with defective airbags, helping affected drivers schedule free repairs and accelerating recall completion rates. To determine if your car has a defective airbag, visit www.AirbagRecall.com and enter your vehicle identification number (VIN).

CONTACT: Lisa Miller, lmiller@gpg.com

Airbag Recall is an effort supported by community organizations, public interest groups, private companies, elected officials, faith communities and other concerned parties to raise consumer awareness about the ongoing airbag inflator recall. (PRNewsfoto/Airbag Recall)
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SOURCE Airbag Recall