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Can you imagine driving around without airbags? That's the positive a local woman finds herself in. She says she's driving around a "death trap." Ken Amaro explains.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Marisol Morales owns a 2000 Mazda MPV minivan. She says it is a lot less safer because the side airbags are not working.
"I'm driving a death trap," said Morales.
She said a few days ago she turned the key in the ignition, placed the vehicle in reverse and there was a bang.
"I went into reverse without any impact and my side airbags exploded," she said.
The incident left her with black and blue bruises and a lot of questions.
"I was in shock," she said," I was thrown to the side of my car. I didn't know what happened."
Morales bought the vehicle five years ago. She is not the first owner, but she said her Carfax report shows it has no accident history. Still, when she took it to her Mazda dealer for repairs, she left disappointed.
"The brand of airbag that's in that car is not on the list," she said. "Also, my car is not on the list of recalls."
Jacksonville attorney Wayne Hogan, who handles product liability cases, checked the government's website for recalls of Morales' vehicle and found a few matches.
"There have been some recalls related to the vehicle, not necessarily related to the airbag situation in her vehicle," said Hogan.
He said her course of action for now is to find out if those recalls have been corrected, then she needs to report her airbag case to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"It may not help her situation but there may be other people who are at risk for the same thing," said Hogan. "She doesn't know if there are other complaints which could lead to a bigger investigation."
As for repairs, Hogan said since there are recalls there is nothing that requires the manufacturer to repair or replace the side airbags. But out of goodwill they should.
Morales said she won't feel safe in her vehicle until the side airbags are repaired.
"I'm scared," said Morales," I really want them to fix this problem."
Attorney Eddie Farah, who was also advised of her situation said he will write the manufacturer a letter on her behalf.
There is a way you can check a recall history of your vehicle from your computer. click here and type in your VIN or vehicle identification number.