ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida has had more injuries and deaths due to exploding Takata airbags than any other state in the country, according to new data released by Sen. Bill Nelson Saturday.
There have been 83 injuries and three fatalities attributed to the airbags in the state, according to the data.
Nelson met with victims of the defective airbags, like Corey Burdick and Frank Nasserr.
“You can see this scar. It traveled up my face and lodged in there,” said Burdick.
Both of the Central Florida men were injured when the Takata airbags in their cars exploded and shot metal shards at them.
“They pulled out a 3-inch piece of metal out of the right side of my face,” said Burdick.
The injuries cost Burdick his right eye.
WFTV covered one of the Florida fatalities attributed to the airbags in September 2014.
Hien Tran, 51, died when the airbag in her 2001 Honda Accord exploded during a minor crash near Chickasaw Trail and Valencia College Lane.
Investigators initially thought she’d been stabbed in the neck, but then determined it was shrapnel from her airbag that killed her.
Some recalls for the airbags have been in effect since 2008, but Nelson said there are still 1.3 million vehicles that haven’t had the airbags removed still on the road.
He said he wants the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to force automakers to make sure all airbags are fixed before July.
He said he wants to set a July deadline because older cars in hot and humid areas have the greatest risk of exploding.
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