By Joan Murray

Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Until Honda sent her a letter recently, Jeanette Johnson had no idea she had a big problem staring her in the face every time she got behind the wheel of her CRV.

READ MORE: ‘I Have Goose Bumps’: Zoo Miami's Ron Magil On 'Rita' Laying 2nd Egg On Live Bald Eagle Cam

“There was a defective airbag danger. It could explode and shrapnel could injure or kill the person,” she said. “When I was driving before, I was so careful. I didn’t want anything to happen that could be a problem.”

An estimated 500,000 drivers in south Florida are just like Johnson… unaware they’re driving around with defective airbags. The problem has left 11 people dead and nearly 200 injured, including Sara Baker in southwest Miami-Dade.

“My face was hit when my airbag exploded,” said Baker.

The airbag recall affects 19 automakers but some older model Honda’s and Acura’s face an even greater risk.

You can determine if your car is affected. Enter your license plate or vehicle identification number (VIN) at

CBS4’s Joan Murray tested it with Koyama Fontanez, who was driving an older Honda in Ft. Lauderdale. Sure enough, her car had defective airbags.

“It’s crazy, I wish I would have gotten something in the mail,” said Fontanez. “I’ve been driving around
not knowing.”

After she learned of the danger, Jeanette Johnson had her airbag replaced. She’s now spreading the message alerting other parents at the child care center she helps run.

Visit the locations below for a free check of your car.

April 22 – 24 Broward County VIN-check Events:


READ MORE: Boca Raton Man Faces Charges In Fatal Crash That Killed Homestead Mom, Daughter On Thanksgiving Eve

EVENT: City of Miramar Earth Day Celebration & VIN Check
TIME: 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. EST
LOCATION: Miramar Community Garden, 3700 Largo Drive, Miramar, FL 33023

EVENT: Family Fun & Resource Fair (Broward Aware!) & VIN Check, hosted by Children’s Services Council of Broward County Florida
TIME: 11 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST
LOCATION: Rev. Samuel Delevoe Memorial Park, 2520 NW 6th St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311

EVENT: Heal the Planet Day VIN Check
TIME: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EST
LOCATION: Esplanade Park 400 SW 2nd St., Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 33312

SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 2017

EVENT: New Hope Baptist Church Sunday Worship Services & VIN Check
TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST
LOCATION: 1321 Sistrunk Boulevard, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33311

EVENT: Koinonia Worship Center Sunday Worship Services & VIN Check
TIME: 7:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. EST
LOCATION: 4900 Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hollywood, FL 33024

EVENT: Broward County Sierra Club Earth Day Event & VIN Check
TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST
LOCATION: Anne Kolb Nature Center, 751 Sheridan Street in Hollywood, Florida 33020

MONDAY, APRIL 24, 2017

EVENT: Broward College South Campus VIN Check
TIME: 11:00 a.m. EST
LOCATION: 7200 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, FL 33024

EVENT: Broward College Open House VIN Check
TIME: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. EST

LOCATION 1: Miramar West 1930 SW 145th Ave, Miramar, FL 33027
TIME 1: 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. EST

MORE NEWS: Kyle Lowry Scores 19 Points, Heat Beat Bulls 107-104

LOCATION 2: Downtown Center 111 E Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
TIME 2: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. EST