U.S. safety regulators are warning owners of certain Honda and Acura vehicles to replace their Takata airbags immediately because they are “at an unacceptably high risk of exploding.” According to a report in The New York Times, lab tests underway on airbags collected from recalled vehicles indicate that Takata airbags in 2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicles had as high as a 50 percent chance of a dangerous airbag inflator rupture in a crash.
Dire Warnings Issued
Transportation secretary Anthony Foxx issued this dire warning: “Folks should not drive these vehicles unless they are going to a dealer to have them repaired immediately, free of charge.” This warning adds new urgency to the effort to recall and replace defective Takata airbags, which have already been linked to 14 deaths and more than 100 injuries. The problem in these airbags is with the propellant that inflates with such explosive force that it shoots out metal fragments toward the vehicle occupants.
In one recent accident, a Texas teen died when a fragment shot out of her airbag in a crash and severed an artery in her neck. She was driving a 2002 Honda Civic. Federal regulators warn that drivers in hot and humid regions such as Florida, Texas and Southern California are particularly at risk because high temperatures and humidity cause a compound in the airbag inflators to break down over time and become more explosive. About 313,000 of the dangerous vehicles with the defective airbags still remain unrepaired.
If You Own One of These Vehicles
If you own one of these vehicle models, it is imperative that you take it to a dealer right away. If you are not sure if your vehicle has been recalled, you can check on SaferCar.gov by entering your car’s vehicle identification number or VIN. Replacement parts are readily available for the high-risk vehicles. Honda has promised to double the size of its customer service staff to handle calls from car owners. These vehicles are certainly death traps and if you own one and it’s unrepaired, take it to your dealer immediately.
If you or a loved one has been injured or if you have lost a loved one as a result of these defective autos, contact an experienced California auto defect lawyer who will fight hard to protect your rights, hold the negligent automakers accountable and help you seek and obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve.