WASHINGTON — Florida has had more injuries and deaths than from exploding Takata airbags than any other state, according to Sen. Bill Nelson.
- Florida has 3 deaths, 83 injuries from defective Takata airbags
- 1.3 million recalled vehicles still need to be repaired
- Sen. Nelson calls on NHTSA to get more vehicles fixed
Nelson, D-Florida, released the numbers Friday and called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to step up efforts to get more of these recalled airbags fixed.
Nelson said the defective airbags have been linked to three deaths and 83 injuries in Florida. Honda vehicles accounted for the three deaths and 55 of the 83 injuries, with Toyota vehicles accounting for 13 reported injuries.
Also, Nelson said only 45 percent of the Florida vehicles under the Takata airbags recall had been fixed yet -- 1.3 million recalled vehicles still need to be repaired.
"Consumers should heed the recall warnings and get their vehicle repaired as soon as possible," Nelson tweeted on Friday. You can find out if your vehicle is under recall by going to the NHTSA website, Safercar.gov.
Nelson wants the NHTSA to require all automakers to create new plans to inform consumers what to do to get their cars fixed by June 30. He wants automakers to get consumers in to get the cars fixed and promise to provide rental cars or provide alternate transportation as necessary.
Millions of vehicles are under recall because the chemical inside the Takata airbag inflator can become unstable after years of exposure to moisture and temperature fluctuations. If the airbag should be deployed, it could explode, sending pieces of metal into the vehicle, causing injuries or death.
The NHTSA says the greatest risk is for older vehicles driven in potentially hot and humid areas of the country.
These are the top five states and territories for deaths and injuries from defective Takata airbags:
- Florida: 3 deaths, 83 injuries
- Puerto Rico: 0 deaths, 43 injuries
- Texas: 2 deaths, 37 injuries
- California: 3 deaths, 20 injuries
- Georgia: 0 deaths, 15 injuries