5 On Your Side

Air bag malfunction causes trouble for Apex man

Posted June 9, 2015
Updated June 10, 2015

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— Air bags are supposed to deploy in a crash, not when you’re in your driveway.

That happened to an Apex man as he and his wife were sitting in their 2003 Jeep Liberty outside of their home. The driver’s side air bag suddenly deployed.

"(The car) filled up with smoke and we were both shaken up,” Keith Cash told us. "My wife thought someone had shot us."

His first thought, the recall notice he received three weeks earlier. It warned the air bags in his Jeep could suddenly deploy.

When he called the Autopark Jeep Chrysler in Cary and explained what happened, he said he was told that he would be notified when the new parts were available.

“I said, 'Well, I kind of need immediate action. I need something to drive because my air bag deployed,'" he said.

Like so many drivers dealing with a recall right now, parts aren't yet available to fix the problem, so that left two options.

Cash said the dealership offered to take the vehicle as a trade-in, for what he considered a low-ball amount.

"They were saying that the trade-in offer was going to be as low as it was because they can't do anything with the vehicle because the air bag deployed," Cash said. "And I asked them, 'Okay, I can't do anything with the vehicle either because the air bag is deployed.'"

Another option, the manufacturer offered to buy back the Jeep, but Cash said he never got a dollar amount.

After weeks of no vehicle to drive, and no resolution, Cash reached out to WRAL's 5 On Your Side.

WRAL called Chrysler Jeep. Soon after, they provided a loaner. Then sent a buy-back offer for Cash to consider.

"The air bag came out due to no fault of my own, due to a defective part from the manufacturer. Now I'm stuck holding the bag - literally the air bag," he said.

The recall involving Cash's Jeep impacts a total of 753,000 vehicles. The recall is not related to the Takata recall.

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  • Patric Pederson Jun 10, 2015
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    He should contact a consumer protection attorney and use a potential lawsuit as leverage to get more money for the vehicle (or an immediate fix). If it were me, I would call the service department every hour until my issue was resolved...squeaky wheel gets the grease.