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'It's Something That's Gotta Be Removed:' Millions Of Cars With Defective Airbags Still On The Road

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - It's a question of safety - yours, your family's, and other drivers around you.

With AAA estimating 54 million Americans will be hitting the road for Thanksgiving, the risks increase exponentially.

The issue, however, is not one you would expect.

It's the dangerous airbags that many drivers still have not got replaced.

"It's a tumor, it's a problem, it's a cancer, it's something that's gotta be removed," says Patrick Juneau who the federal courts put in charge of making sure people get their Takata airbags replaced.

Takata was ordered seven years ago to replace the airbags that have been tied to 19 deaths and hundreds of injuries. Yet Juneau says, "Literally millions of these defective airbags that are in vehicles that are still on the road in America today. There are literally 1000s in your state of Pennsylvania."

Juneau's is where you can check to see if your car is under the recall and he says there are 14-million of them still on the road.

"Literally thousands and thousands of letters and communications and public announcements have reached out to try to get people to come in and get these vehicles repaired," he says.

He says driving a car with the recalled airbag in the steering wheel is like driving with a hand grenade in front of you.

"If it explodes metal fragments, debris and everything hits within what six inches by eight inches of someone's face, and you can imagine deaths maiming, some bad consequences," he explains.

Juneau says not getting it repaired is taking a dangerous chance, "it is not just you as the drivers you got to expose it your family that's in the car, your friends in the car."

WATCH: Making Sure Your Airbags Are Safe

To say Juneau is a bit frustrated would be an understatement, "Hey, brother, you got a problem here. I'm trying to help you."

Juneau suspects the notices have been overlooked in the barrage of junk we all get every day.

"I call it the numbing effect, I think people have just been numbed about they get things in this I'm just not gonna worry about it," he says.

With the suspect airbags in 34 auto brands, including most of the major auto brands like Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota, VW, Subaru, BMW, Mazda, and Nissan, Juneau says, "The chance of you having one of these? Pretty good. I mean even one out of three is one of the major manufacturers of airbags."

And the repair?

"You go to your dealer 30, 40 minutes you're out of there, you got a completely replaced airbag, and you don't have this problem anymore."

Which he hopes more people will do before they hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday.

"All that does it ratcheted up what 50, 60%, 70% The risk. More vehicles more the risk."

To find out if your car is on the list and needs to be repaired head to SafeAirBags at this link.

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