Defective airbags putting drivers in danger on the road


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says more than 500,000 dangerous, or in some cases deadly, cars are on the roads in South Florida.

Inside are defective airbags that need to be repaired.

CBS 12 News dug deeper into the problem and found it’s not that simple.

“They tell you it’s hazardous and fix it, but they don’t have a fix,” said Sandy Guthrie, an owner of a car on NHTSA’s list of recalled vehicles.

Guthrie’s been driving a deadly vehicle for years.

“It’s been really frustrating,” she said.

Guthrie has gotten multiple letters from Ford telling her to get her 2010 Ford Edge fixed because of the Takata airbag recall.

The NHTSA says the airbags have killed 15 people and seriously injured hundreds.

“The person riding in the front can be killed,” Guthrie said.

She says she’s been trying to get her car fixed for three years, but when she goes into the dealership, they’re out of the part.

“They tell me it will be in six monthsthen I’d call and they say we got them ,we’re out of it,” Guthrie said.

So Guthrie’s been forced to take her safety into her own hands, making sure that her 84-year-old mother only sits in the back.

“I have to rearrange my life to bring more people and not drive the car,” she said.

Guthrie says she has called Ford dozens of times, but they won’t put her on a waitlist.

So CBS12 News reached out to the company.

They admit it could take years for them to fulfill all the replacement requests.

In a statement to CBS12 News, Ford says in part:

The scarcity of global production capacity from inflator suppliers is contributing to a delay.

They said they’re not the only auto manufacturer going through this because the recall is unprecedented. Many makes and models are affected.

Meanwhile, Guthrie says she’s stuck because she can’t sell her car, knowing how dangerous it is.

“It’s a hazard,” she said.

Guthrie says her biggest fear is that families in her same position have no other choice but to use the deadly passenger seat.

Ford says it will give loaner vehicles in special circumstances.

The company says to be considered, call them at 866-436-7332.

CBS12 News also reached out to the NHTSA to alert them about this issue affecting multiple manufacturers and got answers.

"If for any reason an owner is then told parts are not available, they should contact the manufacturer at the contact information provided on our website or in the letter they received. They should also file a complaint with us on to help us investigate any possible violations of the coordinated remedy. Ford does have ongoing supply issues due to challenges in the development of safe remedy parts.”

But it expects Ford to have parts available for all Florida vehicles by the end of the year.