150,000 Takata air bags still on recall list in Central Florida

Fiat-Chrysler teams target five Orlando ZIP codes topping the list

ORLANDO, Fla. – An estimated 150,000 vehicles in the Orlando area have not had the Takata airbags replaced after a massive recall, according to the National Highway and Traffic Administration.

Five ZIP codes in the Orlando area including;  32765, 32708, 32825, 32828, and 32712 are considered the hot spots for open recalls, something that has not gone unnoticed by Fiat-Chrysler.

Michael Schmidt, the regional parts manager for Fiat-Chrysler in Orlando said the concern is logistics and safety.

“Here in Florida the high heat and humidity elevates the risk,” Schmidt said, “The Takata recall effects almost every automaker, across many different models.”

Schmidt said the parts are available to make sure customers can get the repairs completed.

Fiat-Chrysler has street teams in the area checking license plates to see if the air bag systems are still on the open recall list.

More than 28,0000 Dodge, Ram and Jeep vehicles in the Orlando area remain on the road with the faulty airbags inflators, part of the estimated 250,000 that need to be replaced across the state.

Ram 1500 truck owner Larry Serafin told News 6 he waited six months to have the recall repair because he didn’t have the time.

Serafin said it took roughly an hour and half  to have both the driver’s side and passenger’s side air bag inflators replaced.

“From what I understand these air bags can go off at any time,” Serafin said. “It’s a major concern.”

More than 20 deaths worldwide, three in Florida, are linked to faulty Takata airbags that according to investigators, ruptured because of bad inflators.

Chris Martin, a spokesperson for the American Honda Motor Company, said the company’s recall efforts have been a steady progress.

"Around 49,000 unrepaired vehicles equipped with recalled Takata Alpha inflators remain on the road nationwide," Martin said. “As of our last report to (the National Highway and Traffic Administration) on Friday, May 4, our completion rate for the Alpha vehicles stood at 94.6 percent."

Martin said anyone with a  2001-2003 Honda and Acura vehicle should be “aware they may have the faulty Alpha inflators.”

“There’s no reason to wait, Martin said, we have plenty of replacement parts and the repairs are free.”

Fiat-Chrysler officials say they are hoping to get to the 100 percent repair level soon as well.

To see if your vehicle is on the list, no matter what the make or model visit checktoprotect.org.

Fifteen people have died in crashes in the U.S. in the following states: 

•    California (3)

•    Florida (3)

•    Texas (2) 

•    Louisiana (2) 

•    Oklahoma (1) 

•    Pennsylvania (1) 

•    South Carolina (1) 

•    Virginia (1) 

•    West Virginia (1)

Takata equipment crashes vehicles (worldwide):

•    7 Honda Accords

•    6 Honda Civics 

•    6 Honda Citys (Malaysia)

•    2 Ford Rangers

•    1 Acura TL

•    1 Honda CR-V (Australia)

About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.