Long delays seen in replacing of Takata airbags

Fixing Takata airbags will take years, says e... 02:08

Some drivers with defective airbags made by Takata are being told it'll take months until their vehicle's airbag can be replaced. The delay follows a recall that's affected nearly 34 million vehicles and has stressed the manufacturer's ability to provide replacements in time.

Natalie Kubes owns a 2002 Honda Civic and is one of the millions now trying to get their Takata airbags replaced.

"I tried to make an appointment for my car because of the recall and that's when they told me that there wasn't going to be any appointments available till November," said Kubes.

Dealerships across the country are being swamped with calls from concerned drivers.

Map showing the states where Takata is prioritizing replacements CBS News

"We have ordered over probably 2,000 or 3,000 airbags at this point that are still on back order," said Ashlee Speight with Honda of Oakland, Calif. "We could have a whole department devoted just to the airbag recall at this point."

Takata says, right now, they are prioritizing replacements in high humidity states because they think moisture is the cause of the airbag ruptures. In some cases, Takata airbags deploy with excessive force, shattering the metal inflator and sending shrapnel into the vehicle. At least five people in the U.S. have been killed and more than 100 have been hurt.

At AutoNation Toyota of Weston, Florida, they've been replacing up to 10 airbags a day. Jim Bender, the president of the eastern region of AutoNation, says in his area there is enough supply to meet demand, for now.

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"This is not a small recall with a minor part, this is an important piece that they need to have addressed with their vehicle," said Bender. "We have the parts to repair the vehicle so they need to come in and get it taken care of."

For those who can't get replacement parts, or don't know if their vehicles are part of the recall, it's a difficult wait.

"If my car can essentially kill me as I go home today from my job, I would really like to get that fixed right away," said Kubes. "It's just unimaginable to have to wait a couple months and just hope that I don't get in a serious accident on my everyday commute, so I don't think that is fair at all."