Nearly seven years into the recall of faulty airbags with a potentially-deadly flaw, only 78% of the free repairs have been completed.
More than 250,500 vehicles in Georgia have unrepaired, recalled airbags, according to Chris Freeman with Check To Protect.
“Over 100,000 are in the Atlanta area alone,” says Freeman. He says this is by far the biggest recall he has experienced in working with hundreds of recalls over the years.
Over time, heat and humidity degrade the recalled airbags, making them explode in an accident.
“We notified drivers of shrapnel that may fly out of the airbag at multiple hundred miles an hour--200 miles an hour,” Freeman tells WSB. “It’s not something anyone’s going to dodge or get out of the way of--it’s coming right towards the occupant.”
There have been at least 17 people killed by these airbag shrapnel explosions, and more than 200 injured. Dealers have been repairing the airbags for free for years.
If the potentially life-saving free repair wasn’t incentive enough, however, now there is an added incentive for some Georgia drivers as local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealers designate June as “Airbag Recall Repair Month” in the Peach State.
“In Georgia, if you drive a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, or Ram that has one of these airbag recalls, if you get it repaired this month, we will send you a prepaid $50 Mastercard,” says Freeman. “You can use that to help fill a tank of gas, go out to dinner with the family--do whatever you want with it. We’re offering that as a way to help people understand this is a serious issue and we really want to help you get it fixed--and fixed for free.”
Checking to see if your vehicle has ANY open recalls, no matter the make or model, is easy and free. Visit CheckToProtect.org, enter a license plate number or the vehicle’s 17-character Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), and the response is instant. You can then schedule a free repair appointment at a local dealership if your car or truck has any recalls.
Freeman says it may seem inconvenient, but many dealers offer ways to help ease that. All Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram dealers, he says, offer alternative transportation options. Some pick up and drop off the vehicle; some have mobile repair options to come and repair the airbags right your driveway or at your place of work.
“We really want people to act and take action right away,” says Freeman.
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