For instance, if you live in Florida or Puerto Rico and drive a Ford Ranger or Mazda B-Series truck more than 10 years old, leave it parked until you make arrangements at your dealership for a replacement airbag: The agency has issued a “do not drive” warning regarding these vehicles. But manufacturers say that about 50 percent of those drivers have not had their faulty side airbags replaced, despite the automakers offering to have vehicles towed to a dealership at no cost.
Not only are those models more at risk. Vehicles manufactured 11 to 16 years ago have older “alpha” airbags installed and if driven in hot and humid environments, they have been likened to “ticking time bombs”. The Associated Press (May 9, 2018) reported that Heidi King, deputy administrator at the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “cannot stress strongly enough the urgency of this recall – these airbags are dangerous…Every vehicle must be accounted for now.”
Chances are, your vehicle has Takata airbags: Thirty-three car manufacturers with 181 different model vehicles dating from 2001 to 2017 have been affected by the largest auto recall in history.
Honda Airbag Recall
The "alpha" Takata airbags were installed in more than 1 million Honda and Acura cars between 2001 and 2003, and they caused 11 of the 15 U.S. fatalities when their airbags ruptured. (Since Honda initiated the first recall in 2008, many Takata-Honda lawsuits have been filed.)
Volkswagen Airbag Recall
READ MORE DEFECTIVE AIRBAG INJURY LEGAL NEWS
Fiat Chrysler Airbag Recall
To further urge drivers to get their Takata airbags replaced, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Miami has designated May Airbag Recall Repair Month to encourage drivers of all models get their airbags replaced. In a press release, Fiat Chrysler sated that, "The need for repairs is urgent…When the inflators in these faulty airbags rupture, they could spray metal fragments into the vehicle, causing serious injury or even death. The risk of an inflator rupture increases in the heat and humidity common to Florida."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging all consumers to visit NHTSA.gov and use a Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, to find out if their vehicle is included in the recalls.