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AAA Issues Alert to Drivers After ‘Do Not Drive’ Notice Issued

The AAA issued a notice to drivers Friday to check their vehicles for recalls after Honda recently issued a “do no drive” warning for vehicles that haven’t received repairs for Takata Alpha air bag inflators.

“Ignoring Takata air bag recall notices can have fatal consequences,” the Northeast AAA said in a news release to multiple news outlets Friday. “Last June, a 2006 Ford Ranger owner in Florida was killed in a minor crash when an unrepaired Takata air bag inflator exploded. That vehicle was subject to a ‘Do Not Drive’ warning at the time of the crash and Ford Motor Company said that more than 100 recall notices were mailed to the owner and a representative visited the owner in person.”

Earlier this month, Honda Motor Co. issued the “do not drive” warning for Acura and Honda vehicles with unrepaired Takata air bag inflators in the United States. The urgent warning covers various 2001–03 models of the Honda Accord, Civic CR-V, Odyssey, and Pilot as well as the Acura 3.2CL and 3.2 TL vehicles with so-called “Alpha” inflators.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) previously stated that owners of those vehicles should not drive them until they get repairs, warning “the risk to vehicle occupants is dire.”

The NHTSA also issued an alert last month that a recent death of the driver of a 2002 Accord in Bowling Green, Kentucky, was due to a faulty air bag inflator. Honda has reported 17 U.S. deaths and more than 200 injuries in the United States related to Takata inflator ruptures over the years.

“These vehicles are 20 to 22 years old now, and the risk to vehicle occupants is dire. Alpha air bags are some of the oldest under recall, and they have a 50 percent failure rate. If the inflators rupture, the metal fragments ejected toward the driver’s face could kill or leave them with devastating, life-altering injuries,” the NHTSA wrote in a release this month, elaborating on the possible danger drivers face.

More than 30 deaths worldwide—including at least 23 U.S. fatalities—and hundreds of injuries in various automakers’ vehicles since 2009 are linked to Takata air bag inflators that can explode, unleashing potentially deadly metal shrapnel inside vehicles. Over the last decade, more than 67 million Takata air bag inflators have been recalled in the United States by more than 20 automakers and more than 100 million inflators worldwide, in the biggest auto safety callback in history.

“If you have a vehicle with a recalled Takata Alpha air bag, you must get it repaired now–for free. These inflators are two decades old now, and they pose a 50% chance of rupturing in even a minor crash. Don’t gamble with your life or the life of someone you love–schedule your free repair today before it’s too late,” NHTSA Acting Administrator Ann Carlson said in the release.

Drivers can check to see if their vehicle is under recall by going to the NHSTA recall website.

Other Recalls

Friday’s AAA release also noted that several other vehicles are being recalled, including the Tesla Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y that are equipped with “full self driving” beta software. The recall was initiated due to safety concerns about that software, which officials say can allow vehicles to act in an unsafe manner near certain intersections, turn-only lanes, and that vehicles may not respond to changes in the speed limit signs.

It also noted that 271,694 Subaru Ascent vehicles from dated 2019 to 2022 are being recalled due to an increase in risk of fire due to the wiring of a heating system part.

Drivers of Dodge Ram 1500, 2500, and 3500 pickup trucks from model years 2019 to 2022 should also be advised their vehicles are under recall, according to AAA, because of tailgates that may not latch correctly. The issue can cause the tailgates to open while the vehicle is moving.

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