More than 7.5 million air bags have been repaired in a massive Takata air bag recall, but many more are still waiting for theirs to be repaired and wondering what to do in the meantime.
Viewers have been contacting NBC 5 Responds about this issue, but an email from Sherry Smith caught our attention. She said an NBC 5 news story about a 17-year-old girl that died after metal from an airbag cut her was enough for Smith to get serious about the recalled air bag in her Honda CRV.
"My brother had been killed in a car wreck in a brand-new car," Smith said. "And then when I saw your report about the girl being killed with the air bag, then I realized, this is serious. I need to do something right away."
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But when Smith called the dealership, she said they told her she'd have to wait a while.
"They said it would be August before they could get it in," she said.
Honda's website says Honda is "...Working with our dealers to ensure a positive experience for our customers throughout the entire process of scheduling and completing each repair - including making available a loaner or rental vehicle if there is any wait for the required repairs."
When Smith checked about an alternative vehicle, she said she was told that all of the cars were out and that she could be placed on a list of about 40 people.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Adminitration said 28.8 million air bag inflators are under recall. Honda is just one of a dozen manufacturers dealing with the problem. So far the company has fixed more than 50 percent of the recalled air bags.
But not Smith's.
"There's got to be thousands across the nation that are being impacted by this," she said. "If they didn't see your newscast, they don't realize maybe how really dangerous it is, because I didn't really think about it being dangerous."
NBC 5 Responds reached out to Honda, who said they made an appointment with Smith to pick up a loaner vehicle. The company also sent this statement:
Honda is committed to taking care of our customers impacted by this issue. We have spoken with Ms. Smith and understand that she has made an appointment with her local, authorized dealer to pick-up a loaner vehicle, and that her concerns are resolved.
An initial supply of replacement inflators for the recall announced in February 2016, which Ms. Smith's vehicle is subject to, has been distributed to dealers and will begin arriving over the next few days. Honda is taking action to accelerate this supply. Please note that for all recalls announced prior to February 2016, which represents the majority of Honda and Acura vehicles subject to recall, parts are readily available.
Honda management and field operations staff are in constant communication with dealership principals and employees to ensure they are aware of the latest information and policies concerning the recall, and have the capacity to meet the needs of our customers promptly.
Honda continues to urge owners of Honda and Acura vehicles affected by the Takata airbag inflator recalls to get their vehicles repaired at an authorized dealership as soon as possible. The authorized dealership will make appropriate repairs at no charge to the customer. If there is a delay in repairing an affected vehicle, Honda and Acura dealers are authorized to provide a free loaner or rental vehicle until the recall repair can be completed. Honda and Acura owners can check their vehicles' recall status at www.Recalls.Honda.Com and www.Recalls.Acura.Com or by calling (888) 234-2138.
NHTSA says car companies are under no obligation to provide an alternative vehicle. They also say, with such a massive recall, they've prioritized the list.
Older cars that are in hot and humid areas have air bags that are more likely to rupture, so they get fixed first.