RIVERSIDE – A coalition of politicians, police and community activists today urged Riverside County residents to check whether their vehicles’ airbags are under a nationwide recall that was implemented following several deadly deployments, including one involving a Corona woman.
“As a lifelong resident of Riverside County, and in my capacity as a city council member, I am deeply invested in the safety and security of our community,” said Corona City Councilman Randy Fox. “I join … in lending my voice and support to ensuring all members of our community, including diverse, low-income and under-served populations, are educated about the gravity and magnitude of the airbag recall.”
Fox is a member of Airbag Recall: Southern California, a public interest group dedicated to raising awareness about the potential dangers of faulty airbags connected to the Takata recall implemented by U.S. Department of Transportation. The councilman joined colleagues for a news briefing at Riverside City Hall.
The federal government has expanded the recall several times since its original order went out, identifying 42 million vehicles as at risk. Eleven deaths have been blamed on malfunctions of inflators produced by Tokyo-based Takata Corporation.
One of the victims, 50-year-old Delia Robles, died last Sept. 30 when the driver’s side airbag in her 2001 Honda Civic burst after she struck a pickup truck head-on at 25 mph. She died a short time later at Riverside Community Hospital.
“Less than one year ago, a member of our community lost her life when the recalled airbag in her vehicle exploded like a grenade, spraying sharp, metal shrapnel at her face, neck and chest,” said Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey. “We must work together to address the hundreds of thousands of vehicles that contain defective airbags in Riverside County and prevent additional tragedies from occurring on our roadways.”
John Buretta, identified as a designated “monitor” of the Takata recall, said county residents should “fix it, don’t risk it.”
“Even a minor fender bender can be fatal,” he said. “It’s imperative—and easy–to look up your vehicle identification number now at www.AirbagRecall.com.”
The vehicles considered at highest risk of containing faulty inflators were manufactured between 2001 and 2003 and are mostly Hondas and Acuras.
However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recall applies to vehicles that rolled off of the assembly line as late as 2015.
Nineteen automakers have been impacted. Airbags are to be replaced for free.
More information about the recall is available here: https://www.safercar.gov/