South Florida Drivers Urged to Check VINs

In Broward and Miami-Dade counties there are nearly 459,000 vehicles with unrepaired air bags. South Florida is part of the highest risk area of the country.

Heidi King, deputy administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, joined automakers and South Florida community leaders on June 7 to urge Floridians to check their vehicle identification numbers to see whether their vehicles are under recall for defective Takata air bags. South Florida is part of the highest risk area of the country, so vehicles in the region have been prioritized to get repair parts first.

"I am deeply concerned over the high number of unrepaired defective air bags in vehicles here in South Florida," said King. "I cannot stress strongly enough the urgency of this recall – these air bags can be deadly. If your vehicle is under recall, do not delay in getting it to your dealer for a free repair. It could save your life or the life of someone you love."

According to NHTSA, at least 23 deaths and more than 300 injuries worldwide are linked to Takata air bags that have exploded, spraying shrapnel inside the car or truck. Three Floridians are among those killed. And, in most cases, the fatal air bag explosion was triggered by a fender bender from which the person injured or killed should have been able to walk away.

The agency also reminded the owners of certain higher-risk Model Year 2006 Ford Rangers and Mazda B-Series trucks with defective Takata air bags that they have not gotten the free repair quickly enough, if at all. These vehicles are under a "do not drive" warning and the air bags must be replaced immediately. The Takata air bag recall involves 19 vehicle manufacturers, 37 million U.S. vehicles, and approximately 50 million air bags. In Broward and Miami-Dade counties there are nearly 459,000 vehicles with unrepaired air bags.

NHTSA urges drivers to visit NHTSA.gov/recalls to find out whether their car or truck is under recall.

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