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CONTACT 13: Air bag issues lead to millions of auto recalls

Posted at 11:00 PM, Sep 30, 2016
Drivers never see it coming. An airbag shoots out without warning, landing a devastating blow to the face that will forever change their life. And as Contact 13 reports, it's a problem affecting millions of vehicles.
 
"It has been real bad today," says Cheri Money.
 
She blames debilitating neck and back injuries on the air bag in her Chevy.
 
"I pulled up to a red light and bam," says Cheri.
 
According to the police report, the air bag in her Cavalier shot out without warning.
 
"All the dash lights started going on and off and the air bag went pow and knocked my head back like this," says Cheri.
 
She says the impact damaged multiple vertebrae, which required surgery and rehab.
 
"We do see this with some regularity," says Sean Kane with Safety Research and Strategies.
 
A database from the group that researches and investigates automotive issues shows recalls that affect more than 11 million vehicles with a number of different defects that can cause "inadvertent airbag deployment."
 
"You could have problems inside a module with a wiring control unit or corrosion," says Sean.
 
Bad censors, malfunctioning modules and wiring defects make up some of the issues for all these recalls for cars whose model years date back to 1992. Age is often a factor. 
 
Cheri's VIN shows no recalls for her vehicle. General Motors actually came out read the computer but say their testing failed to determine a cause.
 
"I would like to know what happened," says Cheri.
 
So here's what you need to know: To protect yourself, check your VIN number for recalls. Never ignore an air bag light. And if you're driving a car is more than 10 years old, ask your mechanic to check the air bag censor.
 
Click here to check if your car is subject to a recall.