South Florida civic and community leaders, members of the regional Airbag Recall coalitions and seven automakers launched Airbag Recall: Operation Find & Fix, a new intensive, community-focused canvassing program aimed at remedying potentially deadly, recalled airbags in neighborhoods with high concentrations of unrepaired vehicles affected by the ongoing airbag recall.
According to the Independent Monitor of Takata and the Coordinated Remedy Program, approximately 1.3 million defective airbag inflators are still in need of repair across the state of Florida.
The new, targeted program represents an extension of the Airbag Recall: Operation Find & Fix program launched in Southern California in June 2018. Building on the initial program, the South Florida effort comprises a canvassing operation of unprecedented scale, featuring more automaker participation than any previous airbag recall canvassing effort. Canvassers on behalf of seven automakers including BMW of North America, Daimler Vans USA LLC, FCA US LLC, Ford Motor Company, Mazda North American Operations, Nissan North America Inc. and Volkswagen of America, Inc., will be going door-to-door to find affected drivers and help them schedule free repairs.
The automakers will be targeting drivers with registered, unrepaired vehicles and offering a variety of accommodations to ensure repairs are timely and convenient. These include the option of having the defective airbag replaced right outside the driver's home or in the parking lot where they work by a mobile repair technician, offering free loaner vehicles while repairs are made and free towing services to and from nearby dealerships.
At least 15 people---including three Floridians---have been killed by defective airbags, and more than 220 Americans have suffered injuries, including cuts or lacerations to the face or neck, broken or fractured facial bones, loss of eyesight and broken teeth. In many cases, the fatal airbag explosions were triggered by minor collisions that the drivers should have been able to walk away from. The risk for serious injury or death is particularly acute in South Florida, as exposure to high temperatures and humidity over time exacerbates the defect in the airbag.