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Report: More Than 200,000 Defective Airbags Remain Unrepaired In South Carolina

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

COLUMBIA, S.C., May 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of thousands of South Carolina residents are driving recalled vehicles with dangerously defective airbags that could blast sharp metal fragments at the driver and/or 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 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 – including one from South Carolina – have been killed, and more than 300 individuals have allegedly suffered serious injuries caused by these defective airbags.

On December 22, 2015, 52-year-old Joel Knight died in Kershaw, SC, after his 2006 Ford Ranger struck a cow on the road, causing the defective airbag in his vehicle to blast sharp metal fragments into his neck and spine.

As of March 2019, at least 200,000 defective airbags in approximately 200,000 vehicles remain unrepaired in South Carolina. That means 38 percent of airbags affected by the urgent airbag safety recall in South Carolina have yet to be repaired, even after dozens of outreach attempts by vehicle manufacturers.

This airbag safety recall is particularly urgent for drivers of older, affected vehicles in South Carolina – because prolonged exposure to high heat and humidity over time makes the defect even worse, increasing the potential for serious injury or death.

While this urgent airbag safety 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 South Carolina, more than 700 unrepaired airbags fall in the higher risk, 'Do Not Drive' category.

South Carolina 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.

South Carolina 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 recall repairs. Examples of these efforts in South Carolina include:

  • General Motors Co. is working to ensure that the 3,260 owners of unrepaired vehicles residing in the state of South Carolina are made aware that their vehicle has an open urgent airbag safety 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.

For more information about these and other efforts by affected auto 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:
Becky Nelson
202-295-0139

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