JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Eric Berry is scared to drive. He's one of more than 744,000 Jeep Liberty and Grand Cherokee owners in the U.S. whose vehicles will soon be recalled due to faulty air bags.
"We drive down JTB and I-95, and if the air bag went off, what kind of injuries would I sustain?"
An investigation by the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration reveals the air bags in 2002-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002-2003 Jeep Liberties may deploy unexpectedly.
So far, no accidents have occured, but 59 minor injuries have been reported in 126 Liberty incidents, and 22 injuries in 89 incidents in Grand Cherokees.
Action News has learned Chrysler has 60 days before the company is required to notify drivers of the recall.
Personal Injury Attorney Charlie Fyler says waiting is risky for all drivers and the business.
"If the car's air bag deploys and an accident is caused and someone is killed, the person would still have to prove that defect caused that accident, but we already have established there's a defect there."
Chrysler does have work to do, distributing parts and tracking down drivers. In a statement to Action News, Spokesman Eric Mayne says, "The time gap is for filing and notification. It is consistent with a recall of this kind, and within requirements set by the NHTSA."
The NHTSA tells Action News that Federal Law requires manufacturers to notify customers within a reasonable time. Given the large volume of vehicles affected in this recall, as well as the age of vehicles, it determined 60 days is appropriate.
But that's not comforting to Berry. He has a second car to drive in the meantime, but worries about others who don't, and who don't know the risk. He believes someone should step in and speed up the notification process.
"The automobile industry and the government should be hand in hand and share information for the safety of the consumers."
Fyler agrees a quicker process is needed to protect drivers, but says they are already protected in courtroom.
"I don't think we need a new law saying fix it now. People have the right to sue if they're hurt."
Chrysler says despite the deadlines, it will be sending notices to those affected as soon as possible. The voluntary recall will eventually take place at Jeep dealerships across the country. The work will take about an hour at no cost to the owner.
For more information and reports, visit http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/recallsearch.cfm and enter 12V527000 in the "NHTSA Campaign ID Number" search box.
From the NHTSA: Consumers can sign up for automatic notifications of recalls affecting their vehicles, as well pertinent recalls of tires and child safety seats at
By signing up for these automatic notifications, consumers can receive immediate alerts about recalls affecting them without having to wait for a manufacturer to send out consumer notification letters.