When you get into your car and you have airbags, you assume that they will help save you in a car accident. That assumption is wrong for the millions of Americans who drive around in vehicles with Takata airbags installed. Takata airbags have been responsible for many injuries nationwide, and recent reports state that as many as 400,000 of the defective airbags are equipped in cars in the Santa Ana area.
According to Santa Ana car accident lawyers, to date, there have been 11 people who have been killed due to the defective nature of Takata airbags. They have been recalled thanks to a defective inflator that causes a spark more dangerous than life-saving during a car collision. The safety recall was one of the largest in American history, and there are still millions of car owners waiting for their bags to be repaired. Currently, they have no choice but to continue driving the at-risk vehicles until a resolution is found.
Southern California, including the Santa Ana area, has one of the highest levels of recalled vehicles that have yet to be repaired of any other state. According to the federal transportation safety commission, there have been over 180 reports of individuals injured by the defective airbags in that area alone.
After losing her best friend, Delia Robles, to an accident from a Takata airbag, Julia Landa, a Santa Ana resident, has taken up promoting awareness to the public. Landa has urged the public to take steps to ensure that their vehicles are safe, so no one else has to die due to the defective airbags.
In September of last year, Robles was killed when her 2001 Honda Civic rear-ended a truck that pulled out in front of her. Although only driving 25 miles per hour at the time, the crash inflated the airbags and the inflator exploded, spraying her with shrapnel.
The Civic that Robles owned was a used car that had been bought and sold three times before Robles sold it to her son just a year before the incident. The day that Robles was driving the car, she insisted that her son take her car instead; she chose to drive the older model because he was driving somewhere far, and she wanted him to be safe.
In Riverside County alone, there are over 200,000 cars that have been recalled but are still awaiting repair. Some of the people involved in the recall are completely unaware that they are even driving with a ticking time bomb behind their dash. If they didn’t buy the car new, then there is no way for the manufacturer to contact them.
More often than not, those who drive used cars tend to be unaware of the dangers that driving with a Takata airbag can pose. The recall itself involves over nineteen different car manufacturers, and the cars targeted are almost all early 2000 models. Most common are 2000-2001 Honda Accords and Civics and 2002-2003 Acuras. They are considered the most unsafe cars to drive and pose the worst threat of danger.
As with recall laws, the manufacturer is responsible for paying to replace the Takata airbags, but the problem lies in alerting people that a recall exists. A used car owner is responsible for researching their car on the recall website to see if their car is listed.
California is the state with the highest number of deaths from dangerous Takata airbags. It is the propellant inside of the inflator that has the potential to explode, and the likelihood is even greater when they are exposed to heat and humidity for an extended period, which is the case for many of those who live in Santa Ana.
If you aren’t sure if your car has been recalled, all you have to do is check the website or go directly to a car dealership in your area. It is their obligation to fix the problem at no cost to you. It just might save your life.