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Inland area has 400,000 cars with defective Takata airbags, group says

By in Press Enterprise on June 15, 2017

By Imran Ghori

Wearing a necklace with “sister” engraved on it and some of friend Delia Robles’ ashes inside, Julia Landa said she was angry her friend died in an accident that could have been prevented.

Robles, a 50-year-old Corona resident, is one of 11 people killed across the nation by a defective airbag inflator that sparked what federal officials call the largest auto safety recall in U.S. history.

Southern California has one of the highest number of recalled vehicles that haven’t been repaired, according to Airbag Recall: Southern California, a coalition created to publicize the issue. About 180 people have been injured, the groups and federal transportation safety officials say.

Landa, an Anaheim resident, and her sister-in-law, Araceli Cozales of Santa Ana, joined Inland community leaders Wednesday, June 14, at news conference at Riverside City Hall aimed at raising awareness of the recall and urging drivers to get their cars checked.

Robles was killed in September in Riverside when a truck pulled in front of the 2001 Honda Civic she was driving, resulting in a collision. She was driving 25 mph, but the crash caused the airbag inflator to explode and spray her with shrapnel, Riverside police said.

A grandmother and a single mother who raised two daughters and a son, Robles worked as a breakfast attendant at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Riverside.

“She had time for everyone,” said Landa, who knew Robles for 30 years. “She had a great heart. She always had a smile.”

The Civic was a used car that had been resold three times at auctions before Robles sold it to her son a year earlier, Airbag Recall officials said. The day of the accident, Robles insisted he take her newer car and she take the older one because he was driving farther to a friend’s house, Cozales said.

“It is hard […]    

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