UCF and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today encouraged consumers to replace defective Takata air bags, which are believed to be the cause of eight deaths, including a 2014 fatality in Orlando.
NHTSA is overseeing the recall of an estimated 32 million vehicles equipped with the defective air bags.
The air bags have been recalled due to ruptured inflators. These inflators can rupture when the air bag deploys, sending metal fragments at high speed into the passenger compartment where they can cause serious injuries.
“We’re not going to be satisfied until every American who owns a vehicle has that defective inflator replaced,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “If you find that your vehicle has anything related to this recall, make sure you call your dealer and get it fixed.”
Because heat and humidity are significant factors in the risk of inflator rupture, Florida vehicle owners are especially at risk.
Many of the vehicles involved in this recall also are older model compact cars—just the sort college-age students drive.
“This is a safety issue,” said UCF Police Chief Richard Beary, who currently serves as president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. “A lot of you are going to pack up your young men and women and send them off to UCF or to a college somewhere in the U.S. As part of that planning, check on that airbag and put that recall on the list of things that you have to do before you send your student off to school. Help us save lives.”
Beary and Rosekind hope to reduce the safety risk for members of the UCF and local communities by making vehicle owners aware of the problem and encouraging them to check whether their car is affected and then take steps to get a replacement inflator.
Drivers can run their VIN numbers though www.safercar.gov to check for current recalls.