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Dial Dalfred: Car owners with recalled airbags having trouble getting rentals and repairs nationwide

Dial Dalfred

The 2008 discovery of faulty Takata airbags triggered a recall of more than 70 million vehicles in the U.S.

Auto dealers nationwide have been working to rectify the problem, but mechanics can only move so fast with each tedious repair.

But while the work is being done, some people are still forced to drive their cars with potentially life-threatening defects.

The issue ironically deals with safety measure that’s designed to save your life.

What happens is, during a crash when airbags are deployed, a defective inflator will launch metal fragments at people in the vehicle.

Depending on the vehicle, airbags deploy at about 8 to 14 miles an hour.

Some experts say the deployment of an airbag is basically a contained and directed explosion;
if shrapnel is launched during airbag deployment results could be deadly.

Jack Cormier’s Lincoln MKX has a recalled airbag and is on the recall list.

“There are many people driving around Lafayette, myself included, with kids, with grandkids who are riding in a car that is deemed unsafe” Cormier said.

He received a letter in the mail earlier this month about the urgent safety recall, saying he should take immediate action, and that’s what he did.

“The dealership did not have the part to repair the car so we asked for a rental and they told us to wait a couple weeks and they would get the part. We waited those two weeks and we got an additional letter from the Louisiana Department of motor vehicles warning us, yet again, how dangerous it was to drive the car,” he recalled.

The letter reads: “The potentially life-saving repair is free and parts are available now.”

We reached out to Hub City Ford, Ford Motor Company is the parent company of Lincoln, one Hub City rep says that’s “fake news”.

We’re told while a few replacement parts come in each week, there is still a long waiting list.

Todd Citron, General Manager at Hub City Ford says, “This is a real issue. When dealing with the recall, we’re taking care of immediate customers first, while not neglecting other Ford drivers. Hub City Ford does have a large rental car supply but all vehicles are being used. The backlog is in the hundreds with people hoping to get repairs and rentals. We’re cooperating with the recall as efficiently as we can.”

In the case of the Cormier’s vehicle, Ford agreed to pay up to $55 a day for a rental car, or $1,600 a month.

News Ten did reach out to Ford about the repairs not being done and rentals not being available. 

In an emailed statement, a spokesman said, “We’ll look into it.”

If your vehicle is on the recall list, you should contact your auto dealer.

Ford is only one of 19 manufacturers affected by the recall.

You can also visit the National Highway Safety Administration’s website to check and check your vehicles VIN number for recalls. 

If you have a problem or issue you would like me to investigate, send me an email at dialdalfred@klfy.com

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