Molokai vehicle owners frustrated by airbag recall

Action Line

Some Molokai vehicle owners trying to get recalled airbags fixed are frustrated.

They’ve been waiting for four months and feel they’re putting themselves and their families in danger.

So they called Action Line for help.

The problem is there is no repair service center on Molokai. So the company has to arrange getting the parts and the crews over there at a time when they can repair several vehicles at one time.

Pualalea Carlbom got a letter in October saying the airbags on her 2013 Toyota 4 Runner are, “Under an URGENT safety recall. Defective airbags can explode, shooting sharp metal fragments… This can cause SERIOUS INJURY or DEATH.”

She called Servco Toyota on Oahu right away.

“They just said oh, we’ll get back to you, and that it’s unfortunate that our vehicles are on Molokai,” said Carlbom.

Months later, she called again and was told they still can’t get anyone to Molokai. But she’s welcome to ship her vehicle at her own cost, about $400.

“Which is ridiculous, being that we already spent $35,000 plus for the vehicle. And a recall is not our problem, it’s their problem,” said Carlbom.

She says she has to drive the car to work everyday. And there are other Toyota owners on Molokai with the same problem. The longer it takes, the more she worries about what can happen to her and her family.

“I’m just like, where do I place my child, what’s the safest place in the car to put my child? So that if I do get into a collision, the shrapnel is not gonna kill her,” said Carlbom.

A spokesman for Toyota Hawaii sent Action Line a statement saying, “We will be scheduling another trip to Molokai very soon. Once we schedule the visit, we will continue to take new appointments and extend our stay or schedule a follow up trip if needed to remedy as many vehicles as possible.”

The spokesman adds, the company has repaired almost 50 vehicles on Molokai so far. And Toyota owners are urged to contact the hotline to check the status of their vehicle, and to schedule an appointment if needed.

The Toyota Hawaii Customer Care hotline number is 1-888-272-5515 (toll free). You can call Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

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