CLEVELAND, Ohio — Northeast Ohio auto and consumer experts are urging local drivers to heed the ongoing Takata airbag recall, and have their vehicles checked and the faulty airbags replaced.
Lou Vitantonio, President of the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers Association, told News 5 more local drivers need to get involved and determine if their vehicles are part of the massive recall.
Vitantonio pointed to national statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which indicates the Takata airbag recall is still effecting 41 million vehicles, 19 different automakers and more than 200 models.
“The amount of injuries that have taken place because of some of these recalls are starting to grow, it’s really important to get it done," Vitantonio said.
“A lot of people are working, they’re using their vehicles, they don’t want to be inconvenienced.”
“Those need to be looked into, brought in right away and get repaired.”
The NHTSA reports up to 16 deaths and more than 300 seriously injured by the faulty airbags here in the U.S..
Vitantonio said the first step is to obtain the vehicle identification number of the VIN of your vehicle, and enter the number into Airbag Recall.com or the website hosted by NHTSA, to see if your car, SUV or truck is part of the recall.
“Go out to your vehicle, look up the VIN, the vehicle identification number, that’s in multiple places, inside the door jam, inside the windshield,” Vitantonio said.
"The VIN is also located on your BMV license plate registration."
Vitantonio said the State of Ohio is also trying to warn and motivate drivers about addressing recalls on their vehicles by launching the Recall Safety Notice Program in late Dec. 2019.
Drivers will be getting recall notices in the mail starting in Jan. along with their vehicle license plate renewal documents.
Sue McConnell of the Cleveland Better Business Bureau President is urging drivers to take the time to check their vehicles and get faulty airbags replaced as soon as possible.
"This could effect anybody, this could effect everybody that you know, it could effect you," McConnell said.
“That’s a lot of potential harm that could be driving around, and you just really need to take heed.”