(CBS SF) — Three automakers have now agreed to nationwide airbag recalls and more replacement parts are being made, but auto industry analysts say fixing all the defective vehicles could take years.
Dorothy Paines of Oakland was surprised and concerned to learn her Toyota Corolla was one of the vehicles with potentially dangerous airbags that could explode on impact and spew debris at those inside the car. Back in October, Paines called her local Toyota dealer to inquire if her car could be fixed and says she was told to call back in two months. After ConsumerWatch profiled Paines in a story, Toyota offered to do the fix immediately.READ MORE: Santa Clara Officials Open COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic At Local Farm
And more car owners should be able to get fixes in the coming months. Honda, Mazda and Chrysler have all agreed to nationwide recalls. Japanese parts maker Takata has said it is ramping up production of airbag inflators, the part needed to address the problem.
But, getting those fixes done is “not going to happen overnight,” according to George Kennedy of Consumer Reports. He estimates it could take two years or so for the needed parts to become available.READ MORE: California Tax Revenues Soar as Rich Get Richer Despite Pandemic
Kennedy also says it’s important to keep the recall in perspective. He stresses airbags have prevented countless injuries over the years, and remain a valuable safety tool.
In the meantime? He advises affected car owners to avoid using their passenger seat, since that’s where most of the problematic airbags are located. “Definitely have someone travel in the backseat.”MORE NEWS: Trailers, RVs, Shed Burned at Industrial Yard in Oakland
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