50,000 Tulsans Driving Around With Recalled Airbags In Their Vehicles

Thursday, February 27th 2020, 1:51 pm
By: News On 6

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 100,000 people are still driving around with a defective airbag in their vehicle, that could kill them or a passenger. Half of those people are living in Tulsa.

        Lori Fullbright: "Can we check your vehicle and see if you need a new airbag?"

        Driver: "I guess so. I'm pretty sure I do. I keep getting letters."

        Lori Fullbright: "You know these airbags are killing people?

        Driver: "I didn't know that."

        Lori Fullbright: "Yeah, 16 people have been killed. They have shrapnel in them and if you have a fender bender and it goes off, that shrapnel will come out. Want me to check?

        Driver: "Yeah, sure."

        Lori Fullbright: "You've got two airbag recalls, you've got both of them. Think you'll get them done?"

        Driver: "Yeah, I think I will."

        Lori Fullbright: "Kinda scary isn't it?"

        Driver: "Yeah. Yeah."

It is free to get the airbag fixed and it only takes a few hours. The airbag recall app makes it easy to check vehicles for recalls, you just have to point your phone at a license plate.

        Lori Fullbright: "Hi, I'm Lori Fullbright with News On 6 and I'm doing a story about airbags. 50,000 people are still driving around with an airbag that could kill them if it goes off. Care if we check yours and see if you have a safe airbag? Let's see what it says about yours. No recall, good, have a good day."

The recalled airbags are generally in older vehicles and they are the biggest danger in hot, humid climates, like Oklahoma in the summer.

        Lori Fullbright: "No recall, you're safe. Keep driving!"

I found a woman who wasn't so lucky. She had no idea about the recall.

        Lori Fullbright: "I took a picture of it to show you. Airbag system. You can get it fixed for free. Does it make you nervous?"

        Driver: "Yes."

I check a dozen vehicles in our employee lot. A Jeep had a recall for a Takata airbag. Another vehicle had a recall on a front airbag.

        Lori Fullbright: "Hey, come over here, I have something to tell you. I'm doing a story on airbag recalls."

        Matt Archibald: "Probably mine."

        Lori Fullbright: "Did you know?"

        Matt Archibald: "Yes, they've been mailing me stuff for a long time, but, I haven't gotten it fixed yet."

        Lori Fullbright: "Why?"

        Matt Archibald: "Because, I don't know why. I need to."

        Lori Fullbright: "You've got to get that fixed, we don't want anything to happen to you."

        Lori Fullbright:  "You have recall, did you know that?

        Robin Ardrey: "Yes."

        Lori Fullbright:  "Have you gotten it fixed?"

        Robin Ardrey: "No, but, I have an appointment."

        Lori Fullbright:  "How long have you known you have a dangerous airbag in your car?"

        Robin Ardrey: "6 months. Everybody's busy, running around crazy."

That's the excuse dealerships hear all the time, even though they'll fix the defective airbags for free and say they'll get you in and out in less than half a day. The chemical in the airbag that makes it go off during a crash can degrade which causes the airbag explode, sending shrapnel flying into the driver or passenger.

"People just need to know how dangerous it can be," said a Jim Norton Toyota employee. "And the peace of mind of knowing your family is safe, is worth it." 

I learned the airbag recall app will not work on tribal license plates, but those drivers can still find out if they have a recall online.

You can download the app on iOS by clicking here

You can also download is for Android by clicking here

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