Florida continues to lead the U.S. and its territories in the number of people killed and injured by exploding Takata airbags, according to new numbers released today by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL).
Takata airbag ruptures have been linked to three deaths and 83 injuries in Florida. Moreover, injuries in the state have risen by almost 400-percent since December 2014.
Puerto Rico, Texas, California and Georgia round out the top five with the most deaths and injuries from defective Takata airbags. Nearly three-fourths of all U.S. casualties occurred in the four states and the territory of Puerto Rico.
“These numbers show that we still have a huge problem with getting these dangerous airbags replaced and off our highways,” said Nelson, who serves as the highest ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees the automakers. “Consumers should heed the recall warnings and get their vehicle repaired as soon as possible. Failure to do so could result in death or life altering injuries.”
Honda vehicles with defective Takata airbags accounted for all three deaths and 55 of the 83 injuries in Florida. Toyota ranked second with 13 injuries reported in the state.
The state-specific numbers were tallied from information provided to Nelson by the 19 automakers that use Takata’s non-desiccated ammonium nitrate-based inflators.
Nelson also reported on Friday that only 45 percent of the Florida vehicles under recall for Takata airbags had been fixed as of mid-April, according to data obtained from the Takata Independent Monitor. In total, 1.3 million recalled vehicles have yet to be repaired in Florida.
Release of the new numbers comes in advance of a hearing the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee will hold next week on the nomination of Heidi King to head the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which ordered the Takata recalls. Nelson intends to seek a commitment from King that, if confirmed, she will speed up efforts to get the exploding airbags replaced.
Consumers who wish to check whether their vehicles are under active recall due to defective Takata airbags can visit the U.S. government’s website at SaferCar.gov.