FORT BEND COUNTY (Covering Katy News) – Automakers affected by the ongoing airbag recall announced the launch of Airbag Recall: Operation Find & Fix, a new intensive, collaborative, outreach program aimed at finding and repairing potentially deadly, recalled airbags across Fort Bend County.
According to the Independent Monitor of Takata and the Coordinated Remedy Program, more than 2.1 million defective airbag inflators remain unrepaired across the state of Texas.
“The Fort Bend County community has already suffered one tragedy from a defective airbag,” said Keri Schmidt, President, Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce. “With tens of thousands of potentially deadly, defective airbags still on Fort Bend County roadways, we must work together to keep our community safe. That’s why I, along with automakers and Airbag Recall supporters, urge all drivers to check your and your family’s vehicles at AirbagRecall.com today, regardless of what you drive. The repair is free,” Schmidt said.
The new, targeted program represents the next extension of the Airbag Recall: Operation Find & Fix program that launched earlier this year, first in Southern California, then in South Florida. Building on these programs, the Houston effort will involve daily outreach to Fort Bend County drivers through frequent recall-check events and other community-based efforts and seek to raise awareness of the recall and increase airbag repair rates across three communities: Sugar Land, Missouri City and Sienna Plantation. In these three communities alone, tens of thousands of drivers have vehicles with unrepaired defective airbags that can explode like a grenade upon impact, blasting sharp metal fragments into the passenger compartment.
At least 15 people, one of whom lived in Fort Bend County, have been killed by defective airbags, and at least eight Houstonians and 220 Americans have suffered injuries, including cuts or lacerations to the face or neck, broken or fractured facial bones, loss of eyesight and broken teeth. The risk of serious injury or death is particularly acute in Texas, due to the state’s high temperatures and humidity, which cause these defective airbag inflators to degrade more quickly over time.
While the Takata airbag recalls impact 19 automakers, certain 2001-2003 Hondas and Acuras as well as 2006 Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series trucks are considered high-risk, and are unsafe to drive. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, defective airbags in 2001-2003 Hondas and Acuras pose up to a 50 percent or higher chance of exploding upon deployment. Parts for higher-risk vehicles are in good supply at area dealerships, and free towing is available. The repair is absolutely free.
Local residents can find out if their vehicle has a defective airbag by visiting AirbagRecall.com. If their vehicle is affected, they can use the website to connect with a local dealership and schedule a free repair. They can also check their vehicle by using the free Airbag Recall app, now available on Google Play or iTunes. The easy-to-use app provides all the same information as the website, plus it allows users to scan license plates directly from their mobile device.
Fort Bend County residents who do not own high-risk vehicles that may be waiting for replacement parts for their vehicle, or who are not affected by the current recall, are also encouraged to call their local dealer and confirm that their contact information is up-to-date, so they can receive recall-related updates.
“High-risk vehicles in Texas have deadly airbags that need to be replaced immediately because the airbags could explode in a crash – lives depend on it. The Takata airbag recall impacts many makes and models, and older vehicles are higher risk. No matter what you drive, it is critical to check your vehicle identification number (VIN) on NHTSA.gov to find out if your vehicle is included in this or any other safety recall. Recall repairs are free.” – Heidi King, Deputy Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
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. Participants are committed to educating individuals about the risks associated with defective airbag inflators, helping affected drivers schedule free repairs and accelerating recall completion rates. To determine if your car has a defective airbag inflator, visit AirbagRecall.com and enter your vehicle identification number (VIN).