ST. LOUIS – According to Carfax, there are more than 44,000 vehicles with recalled Takata airbags currently on the road in the St. Louis area. Ten years after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ordered a full recall of Takata airbags, Carfax Editor-in-Chief Patrick Olsen says a staggering number of vehicles with these dangerous airbags are still being driven today.

“There’s still 6.4 million cars on U.S. roads that need these air bags replaced,” Olsen said.

According to Olsen, extended exposure to heat and humidity can cause Takata airbag inflators to deploy far more explosively than expected.

“Some of these cars are 20 years old. You have to think that every summer that goes by is just adding to and compounding the risk for that airbag to go off,” he said. “That, in turn, turns that metal band around the airbag into shrapnel. Literally flying pieces of metal that get into the cabin.”

In late April, we followed Lauri Harsy around St. Louis as she tried tracking down owners of recalled vehicles. The problematic airbags are responsible for killing more than two dozen people in the U.S. and injuring more than 400.

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“We just don’t want anyone else hurt. We don’t want to see any more deaths,” she said. “We’re out there trying to find these vehicles and get them their free repair. We have a mobile tech that come on site to them to fix the vehicle, and everything is free. The repair takes less than an hour.”

But Harsy told us that she and her colleagues are often accused of being scammers.

“We’re having the darndest time with people opening their doors to us. We see the vehicle in the parking lot,” she said. “We can sometimes see the people inside the house watching us and they will not open their doors. They think we’re some sort of scam.”

As Harsy shared with us and Olsen has confirmed, younger drivers are now being exposed to the danger these vehicles possess.

“A lot of these cars are in the hands of teenage drivers, younger drivers, because they’re the more affordable cars to get into,” Olsen said.