North Texas

Problem Solved: Woman Gets Loaner Car After Calling NBC 5

Earlier this month, we told you about a North Texas driver who was riding around with a defective airbag in her car for nearly two years. She said the dealership and manufacturer refused to give her a loaner car. When she couldn't get help, she called Samantha Chatman with NBC 5 Responds. 

In July of 2016, she learned her car was a part of the Takata airbag recall.

"Give me something else that doesn't have death seat," said Sharon Austry.

She received a letter in the mail that said "Warning: Until remedy parts become available, do not allow anyone to sit in the first row passenger seat."

She thought it'd be easy to get that defective airbag out of her car and replaced with a safe one, but nearly two years later, she's still waiting.

"I asked if we could get a loaner car. They said no. I asked if we are going to get any kind of compensation. They said no," Austry said.

That answer didn't sit well with Austry or David Friedman with Consumers Union.

"First of all, they should have the parts. It's inexcusable for car companies or dealers not to have the Takata airbag parts anymore," said Friedman.  "Two, if you don't have the parts, give your customer a rental car. Period!"

We brought these concerns to Ford and asked them why it hadn't offered Austry a rental car to begin with.

Ford told us they didn't have record of Austry calling their customer service line. The company said "Ford may be able to provide loaner vehicles to customers in certain instances ... Ford does have some parts available now for some repairs... We are working with our suppliers to expedite parts as quickly as possible."

After our first story aired, Austry says she got a call from a Ford executive saying they'd like to provide her with a rental car for 30 days, and if the parts still weren't available past 30 days, she'd get another rental car at no cost to her.

Austry says she feels safe in the rental car and is happy that she's no longer riding around with "a death seat."

Austry says the dealer told her the parts may not come in until summer 2018.

If you're having issues getting your recalled airbag replaced, you can file a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration here.

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