Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra (D-39th District), and Los Angeles City Councilmember Monica Rodriguez will host a neighborhood walk vehicle VIN-number check in the San Fernando Valley today, July 27, to inform drivers still needing to replace defective airbags due to the ongoing Takata airbag recall, the largest safety recall in U.S. history.

The participants will meet at the North Valley Occupational Center in Mission Hills, beginning at 2 p.m. Participants will then split up into teams and travel to various areas around the community, including Arleta, Mission Hills Panorama City and the City of San Fernando, to examine vehicle license plate numbers. Literature will be left on the vehicle’s windshield about getting a replacement airbag.

“We’re hoping to have several dozen [walkers],” the assemblymember said.

Notified owners can use smart phones to check if the airbag qualifies for recall. The literature left on the windshield will explain how to get an appointment at a local dealership for a free repair. There is a website that people can visit — airbagrecall.com — for more information.

If a driver doesn’t have a smartphone or access to a computer, Bocanegra said, they can visit a local car or truck dealership, and that dealership can determine if their vehicle is affected.

Drivers must have their license plate number or vehicle identification number (VIN) at the time of repair. It covers both driver and passenger airbags.

A similar outreach effort took place in May. 

“The whole point is raising public awareness that this is part of public safety,” said Bocanegra, who once again has teamed up with Airbag Recall: Southern California coalition. “If you’re driving a vehicle in question, it’s very easy to get [the airbag] replaced, and to know this is free. Hopefully we can save people’s lives here.”

The assemblymember noted that hundreds of thousands of Southern California residents are still driving vehicles with defective airbag inflators that could explode during deployment, blasting shrapnel into the passenger compartment, resulting in serious injury or death. He also said there are still a million airbag inflators in Southern California that fall in this category.

“The more word we get out, the better,” He said. 

Owners of older model Hondas Civics and Accords, and Acura TL and CL (model years 2001-2003) are highly urged to have their vehicles inspected if they have not done so. Other vehicle models that should be inspected include the Honda Odyssey and Honda Pilots.

“As you know, many of us in San Fernando and Pacoima drive cars that are decades old. But it’s predominantly the Hondas and Acuras that are part of the safety call,” Bocanegra said.

He added that a drivers’ privacy is protected throughout the repair process. Specifically, drivers entitled to a free repair will not be asked to provide personal information or documentation aside from their vehicle’s VIN number.

“A person’s immigration status is not an issue here. If they drive the vehicle and can provide the ID number, they can have the airbag changed,” Bocanegra said.

Regardless of what you drive, all drivers can visit www.AirbagRecall.com and check whether their vehicle’s airbag inflator is under recall. If they have an open recall, you are entitled to a free repair.

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