A team of people is knocking on doors of people in South Florida neighborhoods who registered a car that could contain a defective air bag. In some cases, they are even replacing the airbags in the person's driveway.
Safety experts say the airbags involved in the current recall can explode like a grenade, blasting sharp metal at the people inside of the car. It can happen even in a minor fender bender, which is why they are urging you to check your car in case it needs repair.
Three Florida drivers were killed when their car’s defective airbags exploded.
“This is not a small matter. This is something that could be life or death,” said Deputy Administrator Heidi King of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Takata airbag recall is the largest recall ever, impacting 19 automakers representing more than 30 brands totalling tens of millions of cars.
Safety experts say heat and humidity makes the defect worse.
It’s why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and automakers are pushing to raise awareness related to the recall in South Florida.
“Hundreds of thousands of Broward and Miami-Dade residents are still driving vehicles with defective airbag inflators,” said King.
The NHTSA and automaker representatives have partnered with Broward College to warn drivers of the dangers of waiting to repair their cars. The workers that are fanning out across area neighborhoods are part of what's called "Operation Find and Fix."
South Florida lags behind the national average when it comes to repairing defective airbags. King says this could be because of a lack of information.
Vehicles in a high-risk group include certain 2001-2003 Hondas and Acuras, 2006 Ford Rangers and 2006 Mazda B-Series trucks.
“People think that it will be very expensive, they think that they will go to the dealership and have to pay, when in fact, the manufacturer will pay for the recall,” said King.
If your car is in need of repair, you can schedule it with your local car dealer. The repair is free of charge, and some dealerships offer loaner vehicles.
“My husband called, made an appointment and we dropped off the cars,” said Jeanette Johnson, whose cars were impacted by the recall. “Whenever I was driving my niece around, that was in the back of my mind, I’m like oh my God, I can’t crash.”
To find out if your car is involved in the recall, you can click here and you will be prompted to enter your VIN number, which can be found on your insurance card or on your vehicle.