In recent news, the mammoth auto industry recall of Takata airbags has many scrambling to find answers for why the auto industry continues to fail the public by ignoring or downplaying dangerous defects in vehicles until there is a crisis at hand. After several lost their lives due to faulty Takata airbags, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) finally issued a public announcement that car owners nationwide should take swift action to determine whether their vehicle are on the recall list.
If your vehicle is on the long list of affected autos, you are entitled to free repairs at your dealership – however, there are not 8 million spare replacement airbags available to make this recall effort a speedy one. Affected owners may wait months for the necessary parts to become available.
What is wrong with the Takata airbags?
It has been determined that the Takata airbags installed in more than 50 different models of vehicles manufactured between 2000 and 2011 are susceptible to adverse effects of excessive heat and humidity. As a result, especially in warmer climates, the airbags are at risk for exploding too forcefully on impact. The force with which the defective airbags deploy can send fragments of metal or plastic into the bodies of the passengers they are designed to protect. The effect is like that of a shotgun, shooting shrapnel into unsuspecting travelers at high velocity.
Affected vehicles include models made by Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Mitsubishi, Nissan, BMW, Mazda, Honda, Toyota and Subaru. Vehicles in hot or humid climates are most likely to be affected by the defect.
What can I do to stay safe?
Anyone living in warm regions, including Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Saipan and areas near the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama is urged to act immediately. If you haven’t already been notified by your vehicle’s manufacturer that your car is on the recall list, check the manufacturer’s website or call the NHSTA’s safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 to find out if you’re affected. You will be able to enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) to find out if you need to seek repairs for a faulty Takata airbag.
Visit your dealership to have the airbag checked if you discover that your vehicle contains the faulty airbags. As mentioned, you may not be able to obtain the necessary repairs in a timely manner. If you find yourself waiting for parts, you may worry about how to stay safe while continuing to drive your vehicle. Unfortunately there is no conclusive answer to this concern. Toyota made a suggestion that car owners affected by the recall turn off the airbag on the passenger side of the vehicle and leave that seat open until repairs are completed.
Manufacturers May Be Liable for Related Injuries
The Takata airbag recall comes on the heels of several recalls by General Motors that affected millions of vehicles. Some allege certain automakers were aware of the airbag problem as far back as 2004, similar to allegations that GM knew of the ignition switch problem and other problems with its vehicles long ago, yet did not adequately address the safety concerns.
Some recalls may increase the risk of accidents, while others – such as this airbag recall – may increase risk of injuries in the event of a wreck. If an auto defect causes an accident and/or injuries, then the manufacturer of the vehicle, and perhaps the part responsible for the accident or injury (like an airbag manufacturer) may be liable for any resultant damages.
Claimants or plaintiffs must establish the link between the defect and the accident and/or injuries. They also must present evidence of their damages so they recover adequate compensation when filing a claim.
If You’ve Been Injured Due to an Auto Defect, Call Cordisco & Saile
Cordisco & Saile LLC helps people obtain fair compensation for injuries and damages associated with product liability cases. If you were injured due to a faulty Takata airbag or other auto defect, contact us to review your case. Call us today at 215-642-2335 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.