Woman says pothole in Apopka deployed her airbags

Officials say pothole has since been patched

By Vanessa Araiza - Reporter

APOPKA, Fla. - A local woman claims that potholes on an Apopka road caused the airbags in her Acura to deploy and now she's left dealing with the aftermath.

"It was like a boom and then it was like a boom again," Gina Wendorf said.

Wendorf was driving home Saturday along Sandpiper Street when she said she hit the pothole. 

"All of a sudden, I hit two potholes right in a row. They were very close to one each other. After I hit the potholes, my whole driver side airbag was deployed and the air bag in my seat deployed also," Wendorf said.

She said she didn't know her airbags deployed until she smelled the smoke.

"I was frazzled. I drove home. My husband went and got me checked out to make sure there was nothing medically wrong," Wendorf said.

About an hour later, they went to take pictures of the pothole but it was already patched up.
           
Robert Sargent with the city of Apopka says city officials knew about the pothole.
           
He says Orange County employees were already in the area Friday night because of the heavy storms and said they were going to patch it up the next day.
           
Sargent said when they noticed the work wasn't done Saturday, city employees patched it up themselves.
           
The road sits within Apopka city limits. 

"I'm just very lucky that I did not get hurt because I have heard a lot of stories about air bags and the damage that they can cause, burns or whatsoever and I'm just very thankful that I didn't get hurt at all," Wendorf said.

News 6 checked with Acura, the maker of Wendorf's car, and found that there are two recalls: for a power steering feed hose leak and the 04-08 TL power steering hose.

"I asked them (Acura) and they said that there were no recalls and they said that this could happen, you know, if you hit a pothole hard enough for the sensors to go off. So, it wasn't a common thing but that it could happen," Wendorf said

News 6 spoke with three different mechanics who said it's more than likely the air bag deployment might have been triggered by a wiring malfunction within the car.

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