The warning is clear: South Florida drivers should check whether their vehicles are equipped with life-threatening defective air bags.
The strongly worded advice comes from Heidi King, deputy administrator for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as well as automakers and community leaders. They are urging motorists to check their vehicle identification numbers (VIN), which will tell them if their vehicles are equipped with faulty Takata air bags. South Florida is part of the highest-risk area in the nation, with some 459,000 vehicles affected in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, and tops the priority list for free repairs.
“I am deeply concerned over the high number of defective air bags in vehicles in South Florida,” King said. “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.”
Instead of walking away from minor accidents, three Floridians are among the 23 people nationwide who have died when Takata air bags exploded, filling their vehicles with fatal shrapnel. Across the U.S., more than 300 others have been injured.
The Takata recall ranks as the largest in U.S. history, covering 19 vehicle manufacturers, 37 million U.S. vehicles and about 50 million air bags.
Find out whether your vehicle is affected by the recall
The NHTSA says motorists can visit NHTSA.gov/recalls and search using a VIN to determine if their vehicle is included in the recall. They can also sign up at NHTSA.gov/Alerts to be notified by e-mail of future recalls. Other important information is available at NHTSA.gov/takata and “The South Florida Recall Airbag Event.”
Despite the good intentions behind the NHTSA warning, it comes too late for people who have been the innocent victims of air bag explosions. Without warning, your vehicle could be struck by another motorist, setting off the air bag and causing injuries to yourself and your loved ones.
You know what happens next. The other motorist blames you for the accident. The insurance company tries to convince you to accept a settlement that is far less than what you deserve or need to cover your physical, emotional and mental pain. At the same time, you could be seriously injured, out of work and unable to provide for your family while facing major medical bills. At worst, you are suffering through the trauma of losing a loved one.
What you need is someone who is going to look out for your interests. You need to contact the air bag injury accident lawyers at Gonzalez and Cartwright. With offices in Lake Worth, Pompano Beach and West Palm Beach, we know how to handle cases just like yours. In just the past three years, we have collected more than $29 million on behalf of their clients. Put our experience – and track record – to work for you. Schedule a free case consultation today.