by CHRYSTAL STASICKY Media Editor
The government issued an urgent plea for car owners to get their vehicles fixed due to air bags that can possibly injure or even kill passengers.
When the air bag goes off during a crash, the inflator mechanism bursts and metal shards fly throughout the vehicle.
During the past two years, vehicles have been recalled to repair the air bag inflators that were made by Takata Corp., a Tokyo-based supplier of seat belts, air bags, steering wheels, and other auto parts.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent a warning to the owners of the dysfunctional vehicles. These include about 12 million vehicles made by Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, General Motors, and Ford.
Places that are known to have high humidity such as South Florida, along the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan, and American Samoa are being urged more than others to get their air bags fixed. This is because the humidity can alter the chemicals in the air bag and cause it to explode with too much force while it is deployed.
Deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration David J. Friedman said, “We want to make sure that everyone out there — and we’ve got millions of vehicles involved — is getting engaged and is getting their vehicles fixed to protect themselves and their families”.
On September 29 in Orlando, Florida, Hien Thi Tran died from multiple stab wounds in her neck. The air bag should have protected her, but instead it took her life when the shrapnel flew into her neck.
Tran made a left turn in front of another vehicle and their two front ends collided. The reports stated that the neck wounds could not have been caused by the seat belt. There was also no broken glass that could have caused the other wounds.
Sadly, a week after she died from her injuries, a letter came in the mail from Honda informing her that the airbags in her red Accord needed to be fixed.
Tran was at least the third death associated with the defective airbags made by Takata Corporation.
“I do not know what to think about this. When cars are crash tested, isn’t that something that the workers should be looking for? The cars would not have been sold if they paid attention to what happened in the car when the air bag went off. I think every single aspect of an accident should be examined, including what kind of damaged happened inside and outside of the car. It is horrible that people have gotten injured and even died because Takata Corporation failed to create effective airbags,” said senior Christine Stieve.
The good news is that Takata is taking responsibility for its actions.
Ably Berman, a Takata spokesman, wrote that the company “will continue to fully support the N.H.T.S.A. investigation and our customers’ recalls” in an email.
“I am very displeased that car company’s have sold cars with dysfunctional air bags. However, I am glad that the cars are being taken care of so no more people will be injured,” said senior Eruj Ali.
What do you think about this problem? Are you going to inform your loved ones that their car should get checked out?