Outreach program aimed at repairing recalled Takata airbags launches

By Sara Donchey - Anchor/Reporter, Lea Wilson - Digital News Editor

HOUSTON - Ford Motor Co., Mazda, representatives from FCA US LLC (Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/RAM) and local leaders and members of the Airbag Recall: Houston coalition announced Thursday the launch of an outreach program designed to raise awareness of the deadly airbag recall and help affected drivers administer free, potentially life-saving repairs.

A Mazda technician demonstrated a service repair outside City Hall following the announcement.

Here's where to find out if your vehicle is part of the recall.

KPRC2 has covered the door-to-door program. You can read about it here.

It is considered to be one of the largest and most complex automotive recalls in United States history.

Texas ranks number two on a list of states with the largest number of defective Takata airbags still on the road. 

More than 2.1 million vehicles in Texas still need to have repairs done, with thousands remaining unfixed in the Houston area.

Two people from the Houston area have already been killed as a result of the airbag defects, including 17-year-old Huma Hanif, of Fort Bend County.

The family’s attorney said a piece of metal that broke apart when her car’s Takata airbag exploded killed the teenager almost instantly.

John Buretta, and independent monitor for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, stressed how important it was for drivers to take the recall seriously.

"The repair is fast and the repair is free. And our message to Houston is to fix it, don't risk it. Don't risk yourself, don't risk your family members with respects to these deadly recalls."

Buretta went on to say that people who survive explosions from defective airbags have ended up with serious injuries including lacerations to the face and neck.

To schedule a free airbag replacement appointment, call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236.

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