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Donald Trump indicted by Manhattan grand jury, Georgia campaign fights to reopen local hospitals, and New Mexico creates first-ever $100M conservation fund.

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Former President Donald Trump is indicted by Manhattan's district attorney, House Republicans take aim at renewables in new energy bill and House Dems introduce the Women's Protection Health Act.

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Small towns respond to a hidden housing and homelessness crisis, a new national weather prediction system will help close the gap between urban and rural forecasting, and more rural communities are eligible for a design project to boost economic development.

Expert: Risk Grows for Exploding Recalled Airbags

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Thursday, January 5, 2023   

It is a brand-new year, and consumer auto safety groups are hoping to avoid further deaths from faulty Takata air bags, by raising awareness about the ongoing recall.

More than 41 million vehicles from 34 brands are affected, from model years 2000 to 2018.

Michael Brooks, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, warned the ammonium nitrate which causes the air bags to inflate has become unstable and can explode, with even a small fender bender.

"So when there's an air bag trigger, that means that you're just going to have an uncontrolled explosion that -- instead of pushing the gas into the air bag -- simply destroys the entire housing of the air bag, sends shrapnel out towards the driver or the passenger, and causes injuries or death," Brooks explained.

Thirty-four deaths have been recorded worldwide so far since the recall started in 2018, with 25 in the U.S.; five of them in 2022 alone.

Fiat Chrysler issued a "stop drive" warning for 276,000 vehicles in November for model years 2005 to 2010 Dodge Magnums, Chargers and Challengers, as well as model years 2005 to 2010 Chrysler 300s. At least two of the deaths this year involved 2010 Dodge Chargers.

Brooks called the vehicles "ticking time bombs," which get more dangerous as time goes on. So, he wants states to require owners to get the defect fixed.

"Maybe states need to step in and refuse registration to vehicles that haven't had the recall repair performed yet, effectively forcing consumers to save their own lives," Brooks suggested.

The repairs are free, and some manufacturers are even offering $100 gift cards to entice people to bring in their vehicles. People can check to see if their vehicle is on the recall list on the website SafeAirBags.com.


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