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Takata airbag recall: What Florida drivers need to know

The Takata airbag recall is now the biggest automotive recall in history. About 28.8 million airbag inflators in 24 million vehicles in the U.S. have already been recalled. The airbags have been found to deploy improperly during a crash, shooting metal fragments into drivers and passengers. At least 100 injuries and 11 deaths have been reported across all makes and models.

Florida hit hard due to heat and humidity

The danger is especially acute in some parts of the country, such as Florida, because of the heat and humidity. A Florida woman named Patricia Mincey was rendered a quadriplegic when her Honda Civic crashed into an SUV in 2014, and a defective airbag exploded against her. After many months of suffering, Mincey passed away this month due to complications from injuries she sustained in the accident. Mincey's family is currently pursuing legal action against Takata and Honda. She is believed to be the 11th person to lose their life due to the faulty airbags.

Honda offering rental cars

Evidence exists that Honda and Takata knew about the defective airbags as early as 2004, but failed to notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) until April, 2013. Since then, repairs of affected vehicles have proceeded slowly due to a backlog in getting parts. Some automakers such as Ford are prioritizing high-risk locations like Florida.

The situation has left many drivers afraid to drive their cars. Honda is offering rental cars to those affected. If your Honda or Acura has Takata airbags, contact a dealer to inquire about a rental vehicle.

Drivers are cautioned not to disable their airbags, which would make their vehicles less safe in the event of a crash.

Does your vehicle have a Takata airbag?

To find out whether your vehicle is part of the recall, search its VIN number on Safercar.gov. If you believe that you or a family member has sustained an injury because of a defective airbag or any other car part, contact Culpepper Kurland in Tampa, Florida for a consultation.

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