WASHINGTON (CBS13) – Takata airbags are being blamed for 15 deaths and 278 injuries in the United States and its territories.
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) released the statistics Friday.
The airbags can explode, injuring and killing drivers and passengers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalled the airbags on roughly 37 million cars. So far, only 58% have been repaired.
- 15 Deaths in U.S. Due to Takata Airbags
- 27 Injuries in U.S. Due to Takata Airbags
- Florida Ranks 1st
- California Ranks 4th
- Check safercar.gov
Florida ranks 1st in the number of people killed and injured- 3 and 83 respectively.
California is 4th on the list. Three people have died and another 20 injured from the defective airbags.
Last week, the NHTSA warned drivers of MY 2006 Ford Rangers and Mazda B-Series vehicles to stop driving their cars until they get their airbags replaced.
Takata air bags can inflate with too much force, which causes a metal canister to rupture and spew shrapnel into the vehicle. Tokyo-based Takata, unlike other manufacturers, uses the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion that inflates air bags in a crash. But the chemical can deteriorate when exposed to prolonged high heat and humidity and can burn faster than designed. That can blow apart a metal canister designed to contain the explosion.
The older the inflators are, and the more time they spend in heat and humidity, the more likely they are to malfunction.
The government urged people to go to safercar.gov and enter their vehicle identification number to see if their car or truck is being recalled.